Walmart is about to report earnings. Here’s what to expect

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A shopper carries a bag outside a Walmart store in San Leandro, California, on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Walmart will report its fiscal third quarter earnings before the bell Tuesday. The retail giant is expected to offer clues about how the holiday season is shaping up.

Here’s what Wall Street anticipates for the three-month period, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates:

  • Earnings per share: $1.40 adjusted
  • Revenue: $135.60 billion

Walmart is among the retailers that have seen consumers buy more and shop more online during the pandemic. Its e-commerce sales in the U.S. grew by nearly 80% in the most recent fiscal year ended Jan. 31. Yet the country’s largest grocer by revenue also lost some market share to competitors as some shoppers opted for supermarkets as they sought convenience or were less price sensitive.

That appears to be reversing, as Americans resume old habits and face sticker shock. In the second quarter, Walmart said it was gaining ground again in its grocery business. It said it was chartering its own ships to accelerate the arrival of inventory amid congested ports. It’s stretching out its Black Friday deals throughout the month of November. Walmart is also betting shoppers will buy holiday gifts earlier than usual due to worries about toys and other desired items running out or getting stuck at ports.

However, as a retail giant, Walmart may be able to better absorb higher costs, negotiate with vendors and come up with workarounds as its rivals pay more for everything from labor to shipping.

For the discounter, inflation could even work to its advantage.

“If people are worried about inflation, that’s just going to draw more people to stores like Walmart whose prices are a little bit cheaper so they could do well,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.”

Investors will also listen for updates on the company’s efforts to make money in new ways, from ramping up its ads business to nudging more consumers to sign up for its subscription service, Walmart+. Walmart is pushing consumers to sign up during the holidays by giving members early access to holiday sales.

As of Monday’s close, Walmart shares are up about 2% this year. Shares closed down less than 1% Monday at $146.91, bringing Walmart’s market value to $409.66 billion.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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