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Pro Research: Wall Street eyes Walmart’s strategic moves



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Explore Wall Street’s expert insights with this ProResearch article, which will exclusively be available to InvestingPro subscribers soon. Enhance your investment strategy with ProPicks, our newest product featuring strategies that have outperformed the S&P 500 by up to 700%. This New Year, enjoy up to 50% off on a subscription to InvestingPro. In addition, take an extra 10% off a 2-year InvestingPro+ subscription with the code SFY24 or claim an extra 10% off a 1-year InvestingPro+ subscription with the code SFY241. To ensure ongoing access to valuable content like this, step up your investment game with InvestingPro.

Company Overview

Walmart Inc. (NYSE:), the multinational retail giant, is navigating through a complex retail landscape with its extensive network of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores. With over 400 million SKUs available online, Walmart’s e-commerce presence is formidable, reflecting the company’s commitment to digital transformation and omni-channel retailing. Analysts have observed Walmart’s strategic positioning to capitalize on market trends and consumer behaviors, particularly during pivotal shopping periods like the holiday season.

Market Performance and Analyst Ratings

Walmart’s stock has shown resilience amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment. Analysts have expressed a generally positive outlook, with several maintaining an “Outperform” or “Overweight” rating. Price targets from various firms range from $168 to $188, suggesting confidence in Walmart’s ability to navigate market headwinds and capitalize on its strengths. It’s important to note that these ratings and targets are as of the latest analyses between November 2023 and January 2024.

Sales and Earnings Prospects

The company has been adjusting to the shifting retail landscape, with projections for U.S. comparable sales growth and a focus on grocery and general merchandise segments. Walmart U.S. comp sales estimates have been adjusted to reflect a positive trajectory, with sales growth expected to continue from back-to-school into the third quarter and beyond. Adjusted EPS for fiscal year 2025 is now estimated at $7.00, reflecting both the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Strategic Initiatives and Consumer Trends

Walmart’s initiatives to enhance the shopping experience through convenience and value have been well-received. The company’s focus on omni-channel execution, including improved online shopping experiences and expanded pickup and delivery options, has positioned it to attract and retain customers. The retailer’s investment in omni-channel infrastructure and higher-margin initiatives, such as fulfillment centers and marketplace expansion, underscore its commitment to long-term growth.

Competitive Landscape and Market Share

Walmart has been effectively gaining market share, particularly in the grocery segment, by attracting higher-income consumers with delivery and pickup services. The retailer’s advertising revenue is on track to grow significantly, indicating a robust revenue stream beyond traditional retail sales. Despite facing competition from other retail giants and a myriad of e-commerce platforms, Walmart’s scale and diversified offerings contribute to its competitive edge.

External Factors and Risks

The retail sector is not immune to macroeconomic pressures, and Walmart is facing its share of challenges. High food inflation and a cautious consumer outlook could impact discretionary spending, potentially leading to increased markdowns and fewer impulse purchases. Moreover, potential deflation and unexpected expense headwinds could affect profitability growth.

Bear Case

Is Walmart’s profitability at risk due to macroeconomic pressures?

Walmart’s profitability growth has faced challenges, particularly in the U.S., where EBIT was nearly flat year-over-year, excluding unexpected legal charges. High food inflation and a cautious consumer outlook may pressure discretionary spending, leading to increased markdowns and potentially lower profitability.

Can Walmart sustain its competitive edge in a challenging environment?

Despite Walmart’s significant market share gains, there are concerns about the sustainability of these gains amidst potential deflation and a cautious consumer outlook. The company’s ability to continue attracting consumers with specific deals, rather than impulse purchases, could be tested in the coming months.

Bull Case

Will Walmart’s omni-channel strategy drive future growth?

Walmart’s investment in omni-channel infrastructure, including its e-commerce platform and advertising revenue growth, positions the company for future growth. The retailer’s strategy to attract higher-income consumers through delivery and pickup services is expected to contribute to an improved bottom line in the coming years.

How will Walmart’s market share gains impact its stock performance?

Analysts have noted Walmart’s strong unit volume growth and market share gains, suggesting a competitive strength that could drive stock performance. The company’s diverse market growth across various segments, including grocery and general merchandise, indicates resilience and potential for further expansion.

SWOT Analysis


  • Strong e-commerce growth and omni-channel capabilities.
  • Significant market share gains in grocery and general merchandise.
  • Diversified revenue streams, including robust advertising revenue.


  • Challenges in profitability growth due to macroeconomic pressures.
  • High food inflation affecting discretionary spending.
  • Potential for increased markdowns impacting margins.


  • Expansion of higher-margin initiatives and fulfillment centers.
  • Attraction of higher-income consumers with delivery and pickup services.
  • Improvement in e-commerce profitability.


  • Macroeconomic headwinds, including potential deflation.
  • Intense competition from other retail giants and e-commerce platforms.
  • Consumer shifts towards targeted deals over impulse purchases.

Analysts Targets

  • BofA Securities: (No specific target provided as of November 27, 2023)
  • RBC Capital Markets: Outperform; $168.00 (as of November 17, 2023)
  • BMO Capital Markets: Outperform; adjusted to $175.00 from $180.00 (as of November 17, 2023)
  • Barclays Capital Inc.: Overweight; $167.00 (as of January 8, 2024)
  • Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.: Upgraded to Strong Buy; raised to $188.00 from $184.00 (as of November 6, 2023)

The analysis spans from November to January 2024.

InvestingPro Insights

Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has been a cornerstone in the retail sector, and recent data from InvestingPro provides additional insights into the company’s financial health and market performance. With a substantial market capitalization of 435.39 billion USD, Walmart stands as a heavyweight in the industry. The company’s P/E ratio of 26.83 indicates how investors are currently valuing its earnings, with a slight adjustment to 26.28 when looking at the last twelve months as of Q3 2024. This valuation comes into perspective when considering the company’s PEG ratio of 0.32 during the same period, suggesting that Walmart’s earnings growth may be undervalued relative to its earnings potential.

InvestingPro Tips highlight Walmart’s consistent history of dividend payments, having raised its dividend for 28 consecutive years and maintained dividend payments for 51 consecutive years. This track record reflects the company’s commitment to returning value to shareholders and its stable financial position. Additionally, Walmart is recognized as a prominent player in the Consumer Staples Distribution & Retail industry, which may contribute to its resilience in the face of economic fluctuations.

For those interested in a deeper dive into Walmart’s financial metrics and strategic positioning, InvestingPro offers a wealth of additional tips. Currently, there are 9 more InvestingPro Tips available for subscribers, providing a comprehensive analysis of Walmart’s market outlook. A special New Year sale is now offering up to 50% off on an InvestingPro subscription. Use coupon code “SFY24” to get an additional 10% off a 2-year InvestingPro+ subscription, or “SFY241” to get an additional 10% off a 1-year InvestingPro+ subscription. These insights and savings could be particularly valuable for investors looking to make informed decisions about Walmart’s stock.

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