Walmart Earnings Provide a Range Trading Opportunity

Walmart releases its latest earnings this week, and investors will hope that a recent boost in retail sales will help the stock.

WMT – Monthly Chart 

WMT-Monthly Chart

WMT stock has been trading between the $153.40 and $128 levels over the last two years. A pullback could occur over the coming weeks if the stock fails around this level.

U.S. stock markets are closed on Monday for President’s Day, and Walmart will release earnings ahead of the market on Tuesday.

American consumers returned from a weak holiday shopping season with a spending boost in stores and restaurants. Retail sales jumped at their fastest pace in almost two years, underscoring the economy’s resilience despite higher prices and a series of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Retail sales jumped 3% in January after witnessing a two-month slump, and consumers were seen buying up cars, electronics, and furniture. That could help the outlook for Walmart in the latest earnings.

Walmart’s Q4 earnings are forecast to come at $1.52 per share, roughly the same as the previous year’s quarter. Fourth-quarter revenues are expected to be $159.66 billion, up 4% YoY. Those numbers look achievable and same-store sales—a standard industry metric—could also improve. Wall Street expects them to grow at 3.6%, but Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom expects them to jump by 6.5%. Holiday sales were likely more substantial than analysts had predicted, Grom said.

Walmart is now predicted to finish fiscal 2023 with an EPS of $6.08, which would mark a -6% decline from its FY22 earnings of $6.46 a share. Fiscal 2024 earnings are forecast to rebound with a 6% jump to $6.49 per share. However, Walmart’s earnings estimates have also gone down throughout the quarter, and a positive outlook is needed after retail sales.

Walmart revenues are projected to rise 6% in FY23 and another 3% in FY24 to $627.30 billion. Fiscal 2024 should see a 22% increase from pre-pandemic levels at stores, with 2019 sales of $514.40 billion.

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