Walmart is an American multinational retail corporation and was ranked as the largest company in the world, based on revenue, in 2019. Walmart was founded in Arkansas in 1962 by Sam Walton. The company has grown to include over 11,503 stores in 27 countries with over 2.2 million employees. The Walton family heirs are still the largest shareholder of the company, controlling just under half of all Walmart stock.
While the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on global financial markets Walmart has been identified as a key potential stock to outperform the market in the short and medium term. We will look at some of the factors affecting Walmart stock price history and the forecast for the future.
Walmart stock outlook
Walmart share price history has shown a capacity for sustained growth. Walmart stock prices in the last 5 years have shown an increase from a base of $83.24 to the current price of $106.76. This is following significant losses in the market through the month of March due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Walmart posted a record revenue in the world in 2019 at $523.96 billion USD and returned a gross profit of $129.36 billion. Walmart has a market capitalisation of $302.9 billion USD and a consistent dividend yield of 1.81, which puts it in line with the retail sector average of 1.85.
While it is difficult to predict the long-term implications of coronavirus on the economy the consensus is that major retail stocks such as Walmart are well positioned to outperform the overall market. This is bolstered by the short-term consumer spending predicted as people stock up, and horde supplies.
The effects of a drawn-out pandemic will be less positive as overall consumer spending decreases due to loss in wages and uncertainty over the future. The most critical aspect to Walmart stock and the global economy overall is coronavirus outbreak news, which should be closely monitored prior to and after any investment.
Walmart stock history chart
Walmart share price history
As you can see from above, Walmart stock prices over the last 5 years have increased steadily. The Walmart stock price history chart shows significant decline in the early stages of 2018 as the world reacted to the beginning of the USA-China trade war and considered the potential effect on Walmart’s supply chain.
According to the WMT stock price history chart the stock did not fully recover until the middle of 2019 when it, along with most other US stocks, entered a period of record sustained growth. While the entire economy has been severely impacted by the economic uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus, Walmart has shown that it has the capacity to grow in these turbulent times by rebounding 11.71 per cent on March 17.
Walmart has consistently outperformed the retail sector average and retains a loyal customer base who value convenience and low prices. This ability to outperform the sector average and market as a whole seems likely to continue, at least in the short term, as consumers spend aggressively stocking up on essential items and food stuffs.
Walmart stock splits
On Oct. 1, 1970, Walmart offered 300,000 shares of its common stock to the public at a price of $16.50 per share. Since that time, the company has had 11 two-for-one (2:1) stock splits. On a purchase of 100 shares at $16.50 per share on our first offering, the number of shares has grown as follows:
Walmart stock news
Walmart share price history thus far in 2020 has significantly outperformed the S&P 500. Since the start of 2020 Walmart has recorded an extremely positive (given overall conditions) negative 0.29 per cent return with the S&P 500 declining over 21.72 per cent as of March 17.
Walmart stock performance history early in the year has helped maintain this low loss during the extreme volatility of recent weeks as it has declined 11 per cent since the beginning of March.
Walmart: buy or sell?
Walmart has invested significantly in e-commerce in recent years and equipped its stores for picking up online pre-orders. This has allowed Walmart to stay competitive in the evolving retail landscape in the face of huge online rivals like Amazon.
While they have been able to keep the leading position, e-commerce does provide a much smaller profit margin than does traditional retail and there is some concern that this could negatively impact Walmart in the long term.
While profit margins may be narrower brand loyalty should allow Walmart to capture large segments of consumers and remain a retail powerhouse. Walmart stock market history has shown that it is able to successfully navigate changing market conditions and adapt to consumers at a faster rate than competitors can enter the market. By expanding into pharmacies, and more recently healthcare services, Walmart has continued to diversify its strong business lines.
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Walmart is positioned better than the average company to continue performing in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement of over $1 trillion in government stimulus and the indication from President Trump that part of this package will be distributed directly to individuals should allow Walmart to benefit from increased spending as consumers stock up on essential supplies.
It is unclear how long restrictions on public gatherings and commercial operations will remain in place, but Walmart is positioned better than almost any other company to continue to perform during these restrictions.
Walmart is considered a slight ‘buy’ at today’s price ($119.26) and conditions. After rebounding over 11 per cent on March 17, 2020 Oppenheimer analysts raised Walmart to the number 1 ranked retailer to outperform the market and set a price target of $125.00 for 2020.
As with all investments and especially in times of highly volatile markets, investors should use caution when purchasing stocks. Follow the latest stock market news, which can drive Walmart price movement. Track the performance of the US leading retailer stock live and trade it with CFDs at Capital.com.