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Walmart Stock Is Hitting New Highs: What’s Driving It Higher?


Jun. 25 2019, Updated 9:33 a.m. ET

Stock performance

Walmart (WMT) stock is scaling new highs thanks to the continued momentum in its comparable sales and better-than-expected earnings performance in the past several quarters. Walmart stock is up 19.3% on a YTD basis and closed at $111.13 on June 21, which is a tad lower than its 52-week and all-time high of $112.19. Comparable sales for Walmart’s US business continued to impress markets and have grown in the past 19 consecutive quarters on the back of increased traffic. Moreover, its Walmex region (Mexico and Central America) has also posted stellar growth.

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Walmart’s investments in growth and higher supply-chain costs took a toll on its margins. However, its adjusted earnings have surpassed analysts’ expectations in the past five quarters, which is encouraging. Improved comparable sales, digital expansion, and better-than-expected earnings are supporting Walmart stock.

Peers performance

Stocks of big-box retailers have outperformed the broader markets so far this year thanks to the continued growth in comparable sales driven by higher traffic. Despite the heightened competition, Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST), and Target (TGT) successfully drove traffic thanks to the expansion of e-commerce offerings and value pricing.

Walmart stock has posted healthy gains on a YTD basis. However, it lagged peers in terms of growth. Rival Costco and Target are up 30.6% and 32.5% so far this year as of June 21. The S&P 500 is up 17.7% on a YTD basis.


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