Walmart, Home Depot Both See Increases in Sales Thanks to Government Stimulus, Home Renovations

by Julia Sanders

BENTONVILLE, ARK. AND ATLANTA — Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Atlanta-based The Home Depot (NYSE: HD) have both experienced a boost in sales for their fiscal first-quarter earnings of 2021.

Home Depot’s earnings were higher than estimates by Wall Street. The home improvement retailer’s net sales increased by 32.7 percent to $37.5 billion, while Wall Street had predicted $34.9 billion. A year ago, the fiscal first-quarter net income for the company was $2.25 billion or $2.08 per share, and this year, it is $4.15 billion or $3.86 per share, higher than what Wall Street expected at $3.08. According to the CNBC, Home Depot’s increase in sales is due to a thriving housing market, despite high prices for lumber and increasing interest rates hindering the sales of newly built houses in recent months.

Home Depot reported 447.2 million sales transactions, which was an increase of 19.3 percent from fiscal first-quarter 2020. The retailer also reported that customers are spending on average more money per visit, with the average total receipt price increasing 10.3 percent to $82.37. CNBC reports customers could be spending more money because prices at the store have increased.

Walmart Inc. has also generated more sales in its fiscal first quarter that ended April 30; however, as the U.S. government stimulus checks end, the retailer saw its sales rise at a slower pace in April than in March, according to The Wall Street Journal. Walmart saw a 37 percent growth in e-commerce sales, which was its lowest quarterly gain since the pandemic started in the beginning of 2020. This time last year, Walmart’s e-commerce sales grew 74 percent due to COVID-19. The retailer’s global revenue increased to $138.3 billion by 2.7 percent in the quarter. Walmart’s net income decreased by 32 percent to $2.7 billion, and the shares of the company rose by 3 percent.

Walmart says it is expanding its online presence and in-store options by including healthcare, financial services and advertising. The retailer released a statement in February saying it predicts $14 billion in capital expenditures during the current fiscal year of 2021.

Walmart’s stock price closed on Tuesday, May 18 at $141.91 per share, up from $124.95 a year ago, a 13.6 percent jump. The stock price for Home Depot closed on Tuesday at $316.75 per share, up from $238.10 this time last year, a 33 percent increase.

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