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Walmart's US e-commerce growth rebounds, shares rise

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on Thursday posted a 33 percent rise in U.S. e-commerce sales, rebounding from the 23 percent growth witnessed in the previous quarter, sending its shares up in premarket trade.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Walmart is seen on shopping trolleys at their store in Sao Paulo, Brazil February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File photo

Walmart said it is on track to increase U.S. e-commerce sales by 40 percent for the full year.

The rebound in e-commerce sales comes after a sharp slowdown during the crucial holiday quarter, which sent its shares down over 10 percent and wiped out $31 billion from its market capitalization. The numbers spooked investors who worried the retailer would not be able to keep pace with rival Amazon.com Inc.

Excluding special items that included an unrealized loss on the company’s equity investment in Chinese ecommerce firm JD.com and a gain related to the U.S. tax reform plan, adjusted earnings came to $1.14 per share in the first quarter ended April 30. The average analyst estimate was $1.12 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 2.1 percent, excluding fuel price fluctuations, in line with analyst forecasts, according to Consensus Metrix. Walmart has recorded nearly four straight years of U.S. growth, unmatched by any other retailer.

Total revenue increased 4.4 percent to $122.7 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of $120.5 billion.

Walmart’s shares were up 1.8 percent at $87.68 in premarket trade. The company’s stock has fallen around 20 percent since reaching an all-time high of $109.98 in late January.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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