business news in context, analysis with attitude

From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"Walmart Inc. reported strong quarterly sales Tuesday as cash-strapped shoppers gravitated to the discount retailer for food and other essentials and continued to pay higher prices on many items compared with last year. 

"U.S. comparable sales, those from stores and digital channels operating for at least 12 months, rose 8.3% in the quarter ended Jan. 27, compared with the same period last year. That beat analyst expectations of 4.9% growth, according to estimates from FactSet … At Walmart, total revenue rose 7.3% to $164 billion for the quarter ended Jan. 31 compared with the same period last year.  Overall net income rose 76% to $6.3 billion for the period."

According to the Journal, "The country’s largest retailer by revenue said it is gaining market share in grocery, including among higher-income households that are spending cautiously. December was the largest sales-volume month in the retailer’s history, the company said. Sales of nonfood items fell during the quarter, as shoppers prioritized spending on everyday needs. 

"That ate into profits as it has in recent quarters, as food tends to be less profitable than items such as clothing and toys and Walmart discounted many items to offload inventory.

"The retailer gave a cautious outlook for the year, saying it expects U.S. comparable sales to increase by between 2% and 2.5%."

KC's View:

I'm sure the folks at Kroger and Albertsons will forward the Walmart results to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in an email, with a subject line that reads, "This is why you need to let us merge!"