NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - Walmart Inc on Thursday reported a 33-percent rise in U.S. e-commerce sales during the first quarter, slower than during the same period a year ago but faster than the previous quarter's 23-percent advance.
Walmart's e-commerce performance was the most widely anticipated metric after online sales growth slowed during the fourth quarter, fueling investor concern over its ability to compete with e-commerce rival Amazon.com Inc.
Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 2.1 percent, excluding fuel, in the first quarter ended April 30, in line with analyst forecasts, according to Consensus Metrix.
Adjusted earnings per share increased to $1.14 per share, beating expectations of $1.12 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Nandita Bose in New York Editing by Nick Zieminski)