The world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart reported slightly higher than expected sales in the first quarter of the year thanks to more customer visits and online purchases. The earnings per share amounted to 1 USD in the first quarter ended April 30, which exceeded the analysts’ average of 0.96 USD. The consolidated net revenues fell to 3.04 billion USD from 3.08 billion USD due to an increase in the tax rate.
The company said sales in stores in the US, open since at least an year ago, rose by 1.4%, while the analysts expected an increase of 1.3%.
For the second quarter, Wal-Mart said it expects a 1.5% to 2% increase in sales in developed US stores. The company predicts earnings per share of 1.00 USD to 1.08 USD, compared to market expectations of 1.07 USD. In the first quarter, the online sales grew by 63%, up from previous quarters.
Wal-Mart’s results, along with the results of its rival Target Corp on Wednesday, have outpaced a number of weak data from retailers such as Macy’s Inc. On Wednesday, Target reported higher than expected quarterly earnings and sales and staged an optimistic tone for the whole year. Wal-Mart shares rose by 1.2% to 76 USD before the market opened. Since the beginning of the year, the share price has risen by 8.7%.