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INX:WMT, Feb 16, 06:18 UTC

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Walmart 'holding its own' against Amazon ahead of earnings report

WMT AMZN

Walmart is set to report quarterly earnings Tuesday morning before the bell. And the retailer looks to be in decent shape heading out of the holiday season, especially when compared with its online rival Amazon. Last year, the big-box retailer captured roughly 4 percent of all e-commerce sales in the U.S. and 0.4 percent of the total U.S. retail market, according to market research group eMarketer. Cowen in a survey of U.S. consumers during the fourth quarter found the overlap of shoppers who buy things on both Amazon and Walmart to be declining (for the third straight quarter), as satisfaction scores are trending higher for Walmart. Analysts will also be looking on Tuesday to see what Walmart has to say about more tariffs on goods from China and India's tightening e-commerce regulations, in light of Walmart's $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart.

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The week ahead: UK jobs, Fed minutes, Walmart, Lloyds & Barclays results

WMT LLOY

Chief Market Analyst Michael Hewson looks back at the equity markets' price action over the last few days, and looks ahead to next week's Fed minutes, UK wages data and the latest full-year numbers from Lloyds and Barclays. The company’s growth in recent years has been driven by acquisition, the most recent being the purchase of Mead Johnson. However, recent missteps have hit the company’s reputation, including a cyberattack, a safety scandal in South Korea and the temporary shutdown of a baby milk factory in the Netherlands due to technical issues. UK unemployment & average earnings (December) Tuesday: One of the more surprising aspects of the UK economy in recent months has been the resilience of wage growth, despite mainstream media stories about job losses and economic slowdown, as we head inexorably towards the Brexit deadline next month. Its shares dropped sharply in August after the company announced that increased labour costs, including higher wages and overtime payments, meant it missed revenue and profit expectations in Q2. Some of these higher costs were also as a result of one-off legal expenses, and as such net income should show an improvement in Q4, after the Q3 numbers stabilised.

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Thursday, February 14


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Walmart is putting trailers equipped with VR technology in its parking lots, with plans to bring it to stores

WMT

Walmart over the next few weeks will be bringing 50-foot tractor-trailers to the parking lots of some of its stores to let customers experience DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon" using virtual reality technology. Wearing a VR headset and sitting in VR-powered chairs, users will be able to see and feel — and even smell — like they are in the DreamWorks film. This is just the first application by Walmart of Spatial&, a VR tech company that's been growing in stealth mode for the past year under Walmart's incubator Store No. Finnegan said the VR trailers can work in many ways, giving shoppers an immersive experience where they can test out camping gear, for example, or visit the vineyard where Walmart's wine is sourced, she said.

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Walmart’s Latest Move Could Hurt Bed Bath & Beyond

WMT

Bed Bath & Beyond(NASDAQ: BBBY) lost about 75% of its market value over the past five years as it struggled to compete against Amazon(NASDAQ: AMZN) and superstores like Walmart (NYSE: WMT). Bed Bath & Beyond's massive stores, which have an average size of nearly 44,000 square feet, were filled with products which could easily be bought from Amazon or Walmart. Bed Bath & Beyond believes that installing more "furniture vignettes", which combine curated collections of furniture and home furnishings into themed rooms, could boost its sales. Anthony Soohoo, Walmart's SVP and Group General Manager of its home division, stated that visits to its e-commerce site's home section rose by nearly 35% since its launch nearly a year ago. Soohoo stated Walmart was focused on "creating this specialty shopping experience" in the first year, and that it was now "doubling down" on increasing its assortment of "high-quality, on-trend collections" of furniture and home furnishings. Soohoo noted that MoDRN was aimed at customers "who embrace a modern aesthetic," and that its Retro Glam, Refined Industrial, and Scandinavian Minimal collections feature higher-end products like velvet and leather upholstery, marble table tops, and exotic veneers.

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Why Walmart farms out same-day grocery deliveries to low-cost freelance drivers

WMT

It is one of nearly 100 such Walmart deliveries for Leonard since July, when he first signed up to courier for the world's largest retailer. But he does not wear a uniform or collect a traditional paycheck. Leonard is one of hundreds of local independent drivers for DoorDash, the San Francisco-based online delivery service that Walmart uses to handle same-day delivery of groceries to shoppers' homes outside of Atlanta. Leonard and his cohort of some 16.5 million American "gig" workers - people who currently work in contingent jobs or as on call workers - come at a lower cost for Walmart than full-time employees, according to interviews with drivers, delivery companies and Walmart documents reviewed by Reuters. But they lack loyalty when there are better paying deliveries out there, adding risk to Walmart's latest attempt to win more online grocery customers. The strategy helps Walmart avoid paying surge pricing - higher fares when demand for delivery drivers spikes due to rush hour, bad weather or popular meal times - that can dramatically drive up delivery costs.

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Walmart and DreamWorks Animation Invite Fans to Step Into the Hidden World of How to Train Your Dragon Through New Virtual Reality Experience

WMT HPQ

Spatial&,a V-commerce startup focused on creating next generation merchandising experiences using cutting-edge technology and storytelling tools, collaborated with DreamWorks Animation to create this unique VR-driven shopping event designed to foster one-on-one relationships with the film’s famous characters. As part of this, the tour will feature How to Train Your Dragon merchandise available for purchase in a branded, immersive gift shop. Participants are then led into a dragon’s cave to suit up in headsets, and sit in specialized Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack, before embarking on a truly life-like five-minute journey through the breathtaking Hidden World with the help of Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. “This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Virtual Tour leverages Positron's Voyager® VR motion chair to deliver a magical, multi-sensory encounter where viewers can enjoy hands-on interaction with their favorite characters from the film," said Jeffrey Travis, CEO of Positron. "Spatial& is our first client to introduce interactive hand tracking along with 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in our Voyager® chair. We can't wait for audiences to experience this new level of immersive storytelling, and we are proud be a part of this groundbreaking project."

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Will Walmart's Holiday Quarter Bolster Its E-Commerce Growth?

WMT

Will Walmart's Holiday Quarter Bolster Its E-Commerce Growth? That enthusiasm gave way to reality when its more than 50% year-over-year growth fell to 23% in the final quarter of 2017 (reported in late February of last year), putting investors on notice that it would take longer to build Walmart's budding digital empire. The stock has since climbed out of that hole and is back near its record highs, as shareholders were relieved that the company's 40% year-over-year online sales goals seemed achievable. Analysts are also expecting adjusted earnings per share of $1.33, which would be flat compared to the year-ago quarter. While all of the numbers will be scrutinized, all eyes will likely be focused on two of Walmart's most carefully watched metrics -- comp sales and e-commerce sales -- which reflect the current reality and give insight into the company's future.

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Wednesday, February 13


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Walmart Stock’s Rocky 2018 Could Put It on the Right Path in 2019, Analyst Says

WMT

Expect cost-cutting and strong U.S. sales out of Walmart when the retail behemoth reports earnings next week, one analyst predicted.

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Here's What to Expect from Walmart's (WMT) Q4 Earnings Results

WMT

Shares of Walmart WMT rested roughly 8% below their 52-week high through mid-day trading Wednesday, with the company’s fourth-quarter and fiscal 2019 earnings release due out on Tuesday, February 19. This marks a discount against its 52-week high of 23.8X and rests not too far above its industry’s 17.5X average. And we can see that WMT stock has dramatically outperformed its industry over the last three years. At the other end of the income statement, Walmart’s adjusted quarterly earnings are projected to come in flat from the prior-year period at $1.33 per share. Walmart currently sports an earnings ESP of +5.55% (supported by a Most Accurate Estimate of $1.40 a share) and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Therefore, investors can consider WMT a company that could beat Q4 earnings estimates.

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