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Walmart Earnings: More Signs It’s Fighting Hard on Pricing

Here’s a look at how Walmart and Amazon stacked up on a basket of 100 household items.

There’s more evidence that Walmart continues to fight hard on the pricing front.

The retailer was recently cheaper, on average, than fellow Barron’s Next 50 stock Amazon.com (AMZN) in 8 of 10 categories studied by Guggenheim Securities, according to a Tuesday note that reflected prices as of mid-May. (Guggenheim checked prices on 10 baskets of 10 items.)

In some cases, Walmart (WMT) — which has recently been seen cutting prices aggressively in some markets — was substantially cheaper: In snacks, drinks and household essentials, for example, which included items including popcorn, Pepsi and Tide pods, Walmart (with free 2-day shipping) came in cheaper on 7 items and 21% cheaper in total than Amazon Prime.

Across all 100 items, according to Guggenheim, Walmart was 4% cheaper than Amazon. The companies were roughly tied in the baby and toddler category, while Amazon was 2% cheaper in appliances, winning on 6 of 10 items.

Walmart, shares of which are off about 13% this year, is scheduled to report fiscal Q1 financial results Thursday morning. Wall Street is looking for quarterly EPS of $1.12, according to FactSet’s mean of 29 analyst estimates.

Some observers believe the company is poised to report results that signal improved digital performance, worries about which hurt the stock a quarter ago.

Guggenheim’s estimate is in line with the Street. The analysts currently have a “buy” rating and a $100 price target, 17% above current levels, on the stock. (They also see gross margins ticking down slightly from year-ago levels even as revenue is estimated to rise 4%.)

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