Walmart raised its financial outlook for the year after beating Wall Street's expectations for the quarter and seeing the strongest growth in more than a decade in sales at established stores.
The upbeat report indicates that Walmart's efforts to improve the experience shoppers have at its stores and expand its online services, particularly in grocery, are helping bring people to its websites and stores.
Like many other retailers, Walmart is also benefiting from a stronger job market and rising confidence. Home Depot, Macy's and Nordstrom all raised their forecasts this week. However, not everyone is benefiting. J.C. Penney posted a bigger-than-expected loss and saw a key sales metric fall well short of expectations, and it cut its full-year outlook again.
Walmart said sales were strong across many categories but the grocery business was notable with sales rising the most in nine years, fueled by fresh items like meat and produce.
That helped sales at stores open at least a year rise 4.5 percent at Walmart's U.S. division, better than analysts expected.