Shares of Walmart Inc. shot up 6.6% toward a six-month high in premarket trading Tuesday, after the discount retail behemoth swung to a net third-quarter loss, due to $3.3 billion in charges related to opioid legal settlements, but adjusted profit, revenue and same-store sales that were well above expectations and a full-year outlook that was above forecasts. The net loss for the quarter to Oct. 31 was $1.80 billion, or 66 cents a share, after net income of $3.11 billion, or $1.11 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as the opioid charge, adjusted earnings per share of $1.50 beat the FactSet consensus of $1.32. Revenue grew 8.7% to $152.81 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $147.67 billion. Walmart U.S. same-store sales rose 8.2%, above the FactSet consensus of a 3.6% rise, and Sam's Club same-store sales increased 10.0% to beat expectations of 8.7%. Cost of sales increased more than revenue, up 10.1% to $115.61 billion, as gross margin contracted to 24.3% from 25.3%. For fiscal 2023, the company increased its outlook for adjusted EPS to a year-over-year decline of 6% to 7% from a decline of 8% to 10% and for sales growth to 5.5% from 4.5%. The stock has gained 4.4% over the past three months through Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 1.1%.
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