WMT - Walmart Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
112.82
-1.08 (-0.95%)
At close: 4:01PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close113.90
Open114.10
Bid112.80 x 1200
Ask113.10 x 800
Day's Range112.32 - 114.34
52 Week Range85.78 - 115.49
Volume4,427,701
Avg. Volume5,895,295
Market Cap322.069B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.66
PE Ratio (TTM)39.48
EPS (TTM)2.86
Earnings DateAug 15, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield2.12 (1.86%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-08-08
1y Target Est111.31
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
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    Bloomberg20 hours ago

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Kroger Co., the giant but aging supermarket chain, has unleashed a flurry of initiatives to ensure it won’t get thumped in a post-Amazon-buying-Whole-Foods world: It is revamping locations, bought a meal-kit company, and sold off its convenience-store business. Its biggest gamble, though, is a partnership with British online grocer Ocado Group Plc. The two plan to build as many as 20 automated grocery warehouses in the U.S. to help Kroger turbocharge its e-commerce operation.Grocery has proven a uniquely tough business to bring into the online era. Orders often have dozens of items – some frozen, some cold, some room temperature – and much of the inventory is perishable. That simply makes for a different challenge than the one Amazon.com Inc. has successfully tackled by getting a single laptop computer or phone charger on your doorstep in one day.Ocado has focused specifically on digital grocery shopping for its entire corporate life, and it shows. At its newest online grocery fulfillment center outside London, 1,000 robots zoom around a grid at a speed of four meters (13 feet) per second, extending a gripper to pick up and transport bins of groceries. The system strips out labor costs and enables human workers to pack about 600 items per hour. Every aspect of the fulfillment process is designed for the unique quirks of grocery, including systems that cue workers about what items in a given order they should put in a single grocery bag. (This ensures, for example, that something heavy doesn’t plop onto a dozen eggs.) Ocado estimates its system saves one hour of labor for every 50-item order – no small thing in a segment of retail with notoriously thin profit margins.There is a real benefit to specializing in solving the grocery conundrum, as Ocado has done. The company’s sales increased 12% last year to 1.6 billion pounds ($2 billion), according to its annual report, and its active customer count increased 11 percent from the previous year. So I’m confident that Ocado will improve Kroger’s game and equip it with advantages in the battle for U.S. market share. Ocado’s system will enable it to fill orders especially quickly and has a high level of accuracy – both important contributors to customer satisfaction. Down the road, it’s not hard to envision even more labor costs getting stripped out of Ocado’s system, enhancing the model’s profitability. But timing is everything in the fast-changing online grocery world. And right now, Amazon and Walmart Inc. are leading the pack.Neither Amazon nor Walmart has a system with the exact sort of wizardry of Ocado’s; even so, each is exploring its own ways of using automation to help with profitability and customer experience. Walmart is testing driverless cars for grocery delivery, and Amazon recently showed off some new warehouse robots of its own. It will take Kroger up to five years to build out the fleet of Ocado warehouses it has committed to building. I worry that won’t be fast enough to vault it past Walmart and Amazon in the race for online grocery supremacy – no matter how advanced  and efficient Ocado’s system is.Take, for example, the specialized delivery vehicles Ocado has developed. They can be loaded with racks of grocery-filled bins designed to fit practically every inch of available cabin space and they have a separate compartment for cold items. A routing algorithm helps ensure they are loaded in an order conducive to a driver’s delivery path and that those routes are optimized for efficiency. This sounds way more efficient than some of the solutions Walmart and Amazon use these days, where a DoorDash or Amazon Flex contractor-courier loads up the trunk of his sedan with groceries. But that efficiency gain is only useful if Kroger can get the density of orders to make it count.Investors have already punished Kroger this year for disappointing on comparable sales growth and its annual profit forecast. It’s hard to assess how much this project might further test their patience, especially because the companies haven’t offered specifics on how they will share the costs of establishing and maintaining these facilities. But we know it won’t be cheap: Kroger has said it is investing $55 million to build the first of the Ocado-powered fulfillment centers.It might help if Kroger talked up other ways the warehouses could potentially support its business later, such as one day sending replenishment stock to nearby stores. And the new warehouses, in some cases, will be positioned to potentially expand Kroger’s addressable market. One of the first facilities Kroger committed to building is in central Florida, a market that Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jennifer Bartashus points out is one where regional heavyweight Publix Super Markets Inc. is beloved and ubiquitous and Kroger doesn’t have much presence. Kroger sees opportunity to crack this market with a compelling online offering.Overall, Kroger is better off for having partnered with Ocado. But I suspect it will turn out this arrangement doesn’t completely jolt the broader U.S. grocery industry the way it could have if it had been forged three or five years ago, before the competition had fully awakened to the e-commerce opportunity. Better late than never. To contact the author of this story: Sarah Halzack at shalzack@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Sarah Halzack is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She was previously a national retail reporter for the Washington Post.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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    (Bloomberg) -- Walmart Inc. is conducting its second U.S. restructuring in as many months to better integrate its money-losing online business with its 4,700 physical stores.The world’s largest retailer will merge the logistics and finance teams for its e-commerce unit and stores, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News. The company’s merchandising operation, which makes critical decisions on what products to carry, when to carry them and at what price, will maintain separate teams “to enable focus and speed,” Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said in the memo.Walmart’s digital business is inextricably tied to its stores, evidenced by its fast-growing grocery pickup service, where online orders are picked in its aisles, then trotted out to customers in the parking lot. Responsibility for that web grocery business falls under U.S. CEO Greg Foran rather than e-commerce chief Marc Lore.The decision to keep merchandising separate -- for now at least -- illustrates the primacy of Walmart’s in-store merchants, who for decades have wielded vast power inside Walmart’s sprawling corporate bureaucracy. It also shows the increasing complexity of managing an online business that sells about 75 million products, many from small third-party sellers, and now promises next-day delivery in many states to battle rival Amazon.com Inc.Separately, Walmart is expanding the role of Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside, who joined the company in 2018 after many years at American Express Co. She’ll now be responsible for running the team’s financial services, product returns and Walmart’s burgeoning advertising business -- ancillary units that are growing in importance as they generate incremental revenue and profit.Renewed PressureWalmart is facing renewed pressure to produce earnings at its online unit as it tries to keep traditional rivals like Target Corp. at bay and simultaneously chip away at the lead built up by Amazon. Underscoring the challenge, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant just wrapped up its Prime Day promotional event earlier this week, with sales surpassing those on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Walmart’s mission is complicated by the recent loss of its e-commerce chief revenue officer in the U.S., Scott Hilton, who had been a long-time lieutenant of Lore.Another of Lore’s deputies, Nate Faust, who had been running the supply chain for Walmart.com, will move to a new, undefined role, the memo said. Faust was one of the founders of Jet.com, which Walmart acquired in 2016 and has now been fully integrated into the larger company amid declining traffic and revenue.The newly combined logistics division will be led by Greg Smith, who currently runs that unit for the U.S. stores, while U.S. stores finance chief Michael Dastugue will take charge of the integrated team there. Ashley Buchanan, who currently runs merchandising at Walmart’s warehouse subsidiary Sam’s Club, will assume the new role of chief merchandising officer for U.S. e-commerce, but will remain in Bentonville, Arkansas, instead of moving to the unit’s California headquarters.Walmart’s U.S. online business has grown, becoming a viable second fiddle to Amazon after the division’s revenue expanded 40% last year. But the business continues to be in the red, with losses expected this year of about $1.7 billion, up from $1.4 billion last year, according to Morgan Stanley estimates.To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Boyle in New York at mboyle20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at ariley17@bloomberg.net, Jonathan Roeder, Mark SchoifetFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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    (Bloomberg) -- Oyo Hotels and Homes founder Ritesh Agarwal will invest $2 billion to triple his stake in the SoftBank-backed Indian lodgings startup he established in his teens.Agarwal will buy shares from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India, which will remain backers of the startup, the company said in a statement. The deal will value Oyo at about $10 billion and raise Agarwal’s slice of the company to 30% from about 10% now, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing a private transaction. The entrepreneur won support from banks and other financial partners for his deal, Oyo said.That valuation makes Oyo one of India’s most valuable startups, ranking after One97 Communications, the parent of digital payments pioneer Paytm. E-commerce giant Flipkart Online Services Pvt was acquired by Walmart Inc. last year in a $16 billion deal. Oyo, which provides accommodation to travelers from India and China to the U.K. and U.S., grew revenue more than four times in June from a year earlier. It now has a million rooms under its brand, of which more than 200,000 are in India.Agarwal founded the startup in his teens after dropping out of college and roaming India on a shoestring budget. The wild, erratic standards at hotels and guest houses he encountered inspired him to start the online service, and the brand now aims to provide travelers a consistent experience.Oyo mainly signs on hotel owners and then helps them upgrade everything from bathroom fittings to furniture and bedding, and then provides them standardized supplies like sheets and toiletries, and support to train their staff.It employs hundreds of people in the field who evaluate properties on some 200 factors, from the quality of mattresses and linens to water temperature. To get a listing, along with a bright red Oyo sign to hang street-side as a seal of housekeeping approval, most hoteliers must agree to a makeover that typically takes about a month. Oyo then gets a cut of roughly 25% of every booking. Rooms usually run between $25 and $85.“It is a very exciting time for Oyo right now as we make great living spaces come alive across all corners of the world from Texas to Tokyo,” Agarwal, who is also chief executive officer, said in the statement.He will carry out the transaction, which requires shareholder and regulatory approval, through an entity called RA Hospitality Holdings (Cayman), Oyo said.“We remain committed to supporting this world-class management team,” Mohit Bhatnagar, managing director of Sequoia Capital India Advisors, said in the statement.(Updates with valuation and stake from the first paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at srai33@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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