Market Overview

Wal-Mart Vs. Amazon: 2016 E-Commerce Breakdown

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Wal-Mart Vs. Amazon: 2016 E-Commerce Breakdown
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Just when it seemed like Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE: WMT) was at risk of being left behind in the digital age, the retail giant delivered some impressive Q4 earnings numbers that suggest Wal-Mart isn’t going down without a fight.

Wal-Mart reported $1.30 in EPS, narrowly beating consensus estimates of $1.29. In addition, the company reported 3.0 percent year-over-year revenue growth, up to $133.6 billion.

Related Link: Wal-Mart Q4 EPS Tops Estimates As Online Sales Beef Up Results

However, the top- and bottom-line numbers aren’t necessarily what has the market excited. Wal-Mart shares are up 3.2 percent on Tuesday because of some impressive growth in comparable-store sales and online sales. Wal-Mart’s comparable-store sales growth of 1.8 percent was well above analyst expectations of 1.3 percent.

More importantly, in the age of digital retail, Wal-Mart delivered a surprisingly impressive 29 percent rise in e-commerce sales during the critically-important holiday shopping season.

Prior to Q4, Wal-Mart had struggled to keep pace with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and the rest of the e-commerce space in terms of growth, despite heavy investments in online sales in recent years.

Wal-Mart's Advantage Potential Takes Center Stage

However, not only does Wal-Mart’s 29 percent online sales growth top the overall e-commerce market growth rate of 15.6 percent in 2016, it also topped Amazon’s 2016 North American sales growth rate of 25.2 percent.

Investors that have written Wal-Mart off in recent years, including Warren Buffett, may have been a bit too quick to judge. At the very least, Wal-Mart’s Q4 numbers provide reason for optimism that the company will be able to successfully adapt to the digital age of retail.

Image Credit: By MikeMozartJeepersMedia (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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