Walmart Holds Its Ground in US Amid Unseasonable April Weather

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May 17, 2018 11:58 am Published by

Walmart Inc. overcame a spate of nasty spring weather to deliver a solid first-quarter performance in the U.S., erasing the sting of a lackluster holiday period.

Comparable sales at U.S. Walmart stores grew 2.1 percent in the three months ended April 30, the company said Thursday, just shy of analysts’ estimates. Customer visits rose 0.8 percent, the slowest growth in more than a year, as bad weather kept people from visiting the stores. But shoppers did spend more on each trip and the retail giant said business has picked up in recent weeks.

The shares rose 1 percent in premarket trading.

“We never do like to blame the weather, but in this case it was unseasonably cool and wet,” Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said in an interview. “That impacts some of the seasonal categories. What you see when you have prolonged wet weather is that people consolidate their trips. Since the weather moderated, the categories that were challenging have come back as we expect.”