Walmart reported slightly stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday after reporting the fifth straight gain in U.S. same-store sales. Shares at the company quickly jumped by more than 4%.
The company says sales at stores open at least a year to grow more slowly during the current quarter despite the holiday shopping season.
The company was under pressure to beat expectations as Target, Amazon, and other competitors continue to cut into the retailer’s bottom line.
Last month Walmart officials warned that those costs would lead earnings to decline by as much as 12% next year.
Net profit attributable to the retailer fell to $3.304 billion, or $1.03 per share, in the third quarter ended on October 1, from $3.711 billion, or $1.15 per share, the year prior.
Analysts had expected 98 cents per share.
The company said it received a boost of 4 cents per share from an adjustment of accounting for leases.
At stores open at least a year sales rose by 1.5% while customer traffic increased by 1.7%.
Walmart’s entertainment department struggled while its food, apparel, and home goods performed well. Electronics was affected by the lack of debuts from a major piece of electronics.
Walmart said inventory on a comparable store basis fell by 1.9 percent.
Walmart also revealed that operating income fell 8.8% to $5.7 billion while consolidated revenue fell 1.3% to $117.4 billion.