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Walmart stock price target, maintains hold rating on strong performance

EditorNatashya Angelica
Published 05/17/2024, 11:44 PM
© Reuters.

On Friday, Truist Securities updated its outlook on Walmart shares (NYSE:WMT), increasing the price target to $64 from the previous $60 while maintaining a Hold rating on the stock.

The adjustment comes in light of Walmart's sustained strong performance, highlighted by a 3.8% increase in U.S. comparable sales, which is above the 3.2% estimate that was projected by the firm. This growth outperformed expectations, alongside better-than-anticipated results from Walmart's Sam's Club and international divisions.

Walmart's U.S. operations have continued to exhibit robust sales growth, even with the backdrop of moderating inflation. The retailer has seen a significant boost from higher-margin ancillary revenue streams, particularly from its advertising sector and third-party (3P) marketplace.

Although data on these segments is limited, there was an impressive approximate 100% growth in the first quarter. These emerging revenue streams are credited with contributing to more than 30% of the quarter's profit growth.

The analyst from Truist Securities acknowledged the shift in margins due to these new revenue streams and the company's overall strong performance. Despite the positive indicators and the raised price target, the firm suggests that investors should look for a more advantageous entry point before becoming more bullish on the stock. The Hold rating indicates a wait-and-see approach, as the firm warms up to Walmart but stops short of issuing a more aggressive recommendation at this time.

Walmart's performance, particularly in the U.S., has shown resilience and adaptability in a changing economic landscape. The company's ability to outpace expectations in its Sam's Club and international operations adds to the narrative of a robust business model.

The increased profit contribution from high-margin ancillary businesses, like advertising and the 3P marketplace, is seen as a structural shift that could sustain long-term margin growth.

In summary, Truist Securities has recognized Walmart's recent successes and the potential for margin improvement, which has led to a higher price target for the retail giant. Still, the firm maintains a cautious stance, suggesting that potential investors may benefit from waiting for a more opportune moment to invest.

InvestingPro Insights

As we consider the recent update from Truist Securities on Walmart (NYSE:WMT), InvestingPro data and tips provide additional context that may be valuable for investors. Walmart has demonstrated a solid financial performance with a market capitalization of $515.91 billion and a revenue growth of 6.03% over the last twelve months as of Q4 2024.

This growth is complemented by a substantial gross profit of $157.98 billion, reflecting a healthy gross profit margin of 24.38%. Moreover, the company's commitment to shareholder returns is evident, having raised its dividend for 29 consecutive years, with a dividend yield of 1.3% and a notable dividend growth of 11.16% over the last twelve months.

InvestingPro Tips highlight Walmart's financial health and strategic positioning. The company has a perfect Piotroski Score of 9, indicating strong financial conditions, and is a prominent player in the Consumer Staples Distribution & Retail industry.

While the stock is trading at a high earnings multiple with a P/E ratio of 25.68, analysts predict profitability for the year, supported by a strong return over the last five years. For those considering an investment in Walmart, keep in mind that the company operates with a moderate level of debt and has maintained dividend payments for 52 consecutive years, showcasing its financial discipline and reliability.

For more detailed analysis and additional InvestingPro Tips, investors can explore the platform, which offers over 10 more tips for Walmart. Take advantage of a special offer using coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription, further enriching your investment strategy with in-depth insights.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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