Walmart Inc. bounced back from a lackluster start to the year with the strongest sales gain in more than a decade fueled by its grocery business, brightening the outlook for the overall retail sector. The stock jumped as much as 11 percent, the most intraday since October 2008.
Comparable sales at U.S. Walmart stores rose 4.5 percent in the three months ended in July, the company said Thursday, more than double analysts’ estimates. Grocery sales rose the most in nine years thanks to improved fresh-food offerings, and web revenue growth accelerated from the previous period. The world’s biggest retailer also boosted its full-year forecasts for comparable sales and adjusted profit.