When the government declared some stores as essential, it was a license to print money. The difference between JC Penny which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Walmart is light and day. Walmart in mid May reported a great quarter – beating Wall Street’s quarterly revenue and profit estimates and doing record online sales.
In an article by Aishwarya Venugopal of Reuters, Walmart’s online business grew 74% as its investments in store pick up and delivery paid off. The number of new customers rose 4 times. Sales at its US stores rose 10% beating estimates of 8.8%. Total revenue rose 8.6% to 134.6 billion.
Walmart’s costs rose 900 million with the addition of 235,000 hourly workers. Operating margins were very healthy at 20.5% and adjusted earnings per share was $1.18 versus expectations of $1.12.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, while Walmart beat expectations or estimates, they were close which means Wall Street understands how Walmart makes money. For many companies on the stock market expectations or estimates will be very accurate, which means as an investor when you look at the estimates and see the company doing it, there should be little surprise. Most dividend paying companies fit into this category, if you buy an utility there should be little surprise in the reporting. If there is, you need to find alternatives. The lesson from Walmart is government policies matter to the bottom line.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.