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Can International Unit Continue to Shape Walmart Growth Story?

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Walmart Inc. (WMT - Free Report) has been impressing on all fronts, be it stores or online, domestic or international. The world’s largest retailer’s operations and popularity outside the United States has been one of the major factors shaping its growth story. In fact, international forms Walmart’s second-largest segment (by revenues) with operations spread across China, Mexico, Canada and UK.

Incidentally, sales from Walmart’s international unit formed about 24% of its total revenues in the last quarter, trailing 65% contribution from its largest U.S. division. Delving deeper, we note that the big box retailer has been recording year-over-year currency-neutral sales for quite some time now, including a 2.8% rise witnessed in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Prior to that, sales grew 2.5% on a currency-neutral basis each, in the second and third quarter of fiscal 2018 while it was up 0.8% and 3% in the first-quarter fiscal 2018 and fourth-quarter fiscal 2017, respectively.

In the last quarter, sales were driven by broad-based growth, with nine out of 11 markets recording positive comps. In fact, the segment performed well throughout the year, with 10 out of 11 markets delivering positive comps — including Walmex that led the growth. Markedly, Walmex’s comps grew 6% during fiscal 2018, with growth witnessed across all formats, channels and regions.

Results in China also remained impressive, courtesy of the company’s efforts to enhance online grocery delivery through its extended alliance with JD.com. E-commerce also fueled results in Mexico, Canada and U.K. Also, in Canada, the company gained from customers’ favorable response to its strategic pricing that helped boost market share in core categories including food, consumables and health and wellness. In U.K., Asda delivered another quarter of comps growth, thanks to solid Christmas season sales and efforts to enhance store and online experience.

Clearly, this supermarket giant remains committed toward achieving growth across all its markets, on the back of its fresh products; expansion of online grocery and private brands. Walmart remains particularly keen on focused on its core growth regions — including China and India China and India. Also, the company remains committed toward allocating resources in profitable regions only, as reflected by its recent decision to shut down its first-party e-commerce business in Brazil.




 

Well, we believe that strength in the international division and Walmart’s countless efforts to up game against Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) is likely to continue driving this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Markedly, shares of Walmart have gained 21.5% over a year, better than the industry's 16.4% rise.

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Burlington (BURL - Free Report) , with a long-term EPS growth rate of 18.6%, carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Dollar General (DG - Free Report) , with a long-term EPS growth rate of 14.6%, carries a Zacks Rank of 2.

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