Wal-Mart has managed to grow comparable sales for more than three straight years amid a tough retail environment. Fred Katayama reports.
Hurricanes that lashed the southern U.S. helped boost Wal-Mart's quarterly sales. Sales at established stores soared 2.7 percent, and up to half a percentage point of that was attributed to demand spurred by the hurricanes. Food also sold well. Wal-Mart has managed to grow comparable sales for more than three straight years amid a tough retail environment that has wracked its traditional rivals. Moody's analyst Charlie O'Shea said, "Market share in the critical food cateogry continues to grow as the expansion of its buy-online/pick-up in store capability is driving increased sales." Wal-Mart's purchases of online retailers like Bonobos and Jet.com are producing results. Wal-Mart's online sales shot up 50 percent, outdoing its peers. Operating income fell at the world's largest retailer, but its earnings surpassed Wall Street's estimates. Unlike its rival Target, Wal-Mart raised its profit forecast for the full year. Wal-Mart shares, which have far outperformed the broader market with a 30 percent increase this year, rose Thursday morning.