WMT - Walmart Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
119.84
+0.42 (+0.35%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close119.42
Open119.67
Bid0.00 x 900
Ask0.00 x 1400
Day's Range119.36 - 120.25
52 Week Range85.78 - 120.71
Volume3,787,934
Avg. Volume5,623,675
Market Cap340.859B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.65
PE Ratio (TTM)27.10
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield2.12 (1.78%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-12-05
1y Target EstN/A
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Bloomberg

    Save Some of That Facebook Fury for Policy Makers

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Fury is the prevailing feeling of 2019. People are angry much of the time about so many things. Sometimes, though, I wonder whether the anger is misdirected.Often, the targets are companies. There’s pressure on retailers like Walmart Inc. to restrict gun sales. There’s anger at Facebook Inc. for running a misleading political ad from President Donald Trump’s campaign. Some people are furious at oil companies for not doing more to slow climate change, and at Uber Technologies Inc. for taking advantage of drivers or worsening traffic-clogged cities.I get it. Actions of powerful companies or their failures to act can have a profound impact. They are legitimate targets for popular pressure, and companies can’t simply sell potentially harmful products or run their businesses in destructive ways and ignore the consequences.But this rage is not only about those individual companies. It’s also redirected fury about inaction by policy makers.People are mad about government inaction on gun violence, but policy makers are paralyzed and anger gets channeled at Walmart. People are mad about nonsensical political speech rules, failures to make laws on personal data privacy or corporate tax avoidance, but few Americans believe Congress or regulators will do anything. Instead, people are left to vent at companies.Have we gotten to the point where U.S. elected officials are so impotent that the only recourse is to hope profit-minded companies do the right thing — and then get angry when we believe they don’t? There are policies that companies can improve on their own, including employee pay and sexual harassment prevention. There is also a need for clarity from elected officials — either on their own or in concert with big companies.  Rules about political ads are one such example. I don’t want politicians to be able to mislead voters on Facebook, but the company is not solely responsible for the half-truth political attack ads that run on its services. Laws and tough regulation are a better approach than always relying on the wisdom of individual internet companies or television networks to make the tough calls.Gun policy, corporate tax avoidance, labor laws and protecting elections from cyberattacks are also matters policy makers are best placed to tackle. My Bloomberg Opinion colleague Matt Levine wrote about the oddity of members of Congress being angry at failures by the Federal Trade Commission to restrict Facebook’s data collection practices when Congress could impose those restrictions by passing a law.I don’t want policy paralysis to absolve companies of responsibility for doing bad things or preventing harm. And companies are not innocent here, either. They fight against laws and regulation, which effectively gives themselves more responsibility — and they sometimes use government inaction to justify their own.Facebook for years fought to exclude itself from rules that mandate disclosures of who is behind political ads on other media such as broadcast television. And Amazon.com Inc.’s history includes advocating for a national sales tax law — which it knew was unlikely to happen — while it employed aggressive tactics to avoid charging sales tax in many U.S. states. (Amazon gave up fighting state sales taxes around 2012.) Facebook, Google and Amazon are now advocating for federal laws that sometimes feel like self-serving attempts to muzzle state or local rules they don’t like or to pass the buck on controversial company policies. When California recently did act to pass a law that could force Uber and other companies to treat contract workers as employees, Uber vowed to fight it and made a technical legal argument that a law tailor-made for Uber doesn’t apply to the company. Those tactics aside, it is hard to thread the needle between saying companies like Facebook and Amazon are way too powerful and also relying solely on them to always make hard policy decisions. That’s why we have elections and a government.A version of this column originally appeared in Bloomberg’s Fully Charged technology newsletter. You can sign up here.To contact the author of this story: Shira Ovide at sovide@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Holidays a Litmus Test for Retailers Post September Sales Drop
    Zacks

    Holidays a Litmus Test for Retailers Post September Sales Drop

    Retailers will surely be looking for green shoots of consumer spending in hopes for improved business activities during the festive period.

  • Amazon Charges Brands for Slots On Its ‘Curated’ Holiday Toy Guide
    Bloomberg

    Amazon Charges Brands for Slots On Its ‘Curated’ Holiday Toy Guide

    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. just released its annual holiday toy guide, telling customers the Lego Disney castle, VTech’s Magical unicorn and more than 1,700 other items were “thoughtfully curated to help shoppers quickly tackle even the lengthiest holiday shopping lists.”What Amazon doesn’t mention are the millions of dollars it charges the toy industry just to be considered for a spot on the popular gift guide.Amazon sells Holiday Toy List sponsorships for as much as $2 million, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg. The more sponsors pay, the more products they can nominate to be on the list and the more prominently their own products will be featured on the popular website. Amazon aimed to sell at least $20 million in sponsorships for this year’s list, the documents show. Amazon also published a summer toy list with lower sponsorship prices.It’s perfectly legal for Amazon to sell advertising on its site. It becomes a problem when the world’s largest online retailer tells shoppers recommendations are curated by experts but doesn’t disclose the money it gets from the toy industry, said Robert Weissman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. Because consumers place more value on recommendations from independent sources, he said, companies prefer to keep their financial involvement hidden.“They don’t write ‘paid ad’ on it because it completely changes how consumers perceive the information,” Weissman said. “If the list is entirely or in part paid advertising, people have a right to know.”Amazon likened the payments it received to the money brands pay stores to be included in advertising circulars or to get prominent shelf space. In an emailed statement, the company said: “Every product on our annual Holiday Toy List, which features family gift ideas from new releases to customer favorites, is independently curated by a team of in-house experts based on a high bar for quality, design, innovation and play experience. We source product ideas from many places, including our selling partners who have an opportunity to nominate their best toys for the season and increase visibility of those toys.”Gift lists are a time-tested way for toy manufacturers to stand out in the critical holiday rush when busy parents are desperate for ideas. Toymakers are eager to appear on these lists because the companies generate about half their annual sales during the holiday season.Walmart Inc. charges toymakers $10,000 monthly per product to appear on its “Buyer’s Picks” toy list in November and December, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg. The company produces other lists, including “Top Rated by Kids,” which uses feedback from children who test and rate more than 100 toys in July. Walmart and its toy suppliers partner to determine which 100 toys will be tested. Spokeswoman Leigh Stidham said suppliers and brands cannot pay to be included on the latter list, but didn’t comment on “Buyer’s Picks.”Parents looking for independent recommendations can turn to toy lists produced by third-party reviewers such as Toy Insider and Toys, Tots, Pets & More (TTPM). But in an era when customer reviews can be gamed and social-media influencers push products without always disclosing that they’re getting paid, consumers sometimes struggle to distinguish between objective online recommendations and paid promotions.The law is murky about precisely what should be disclosed and when. The Federal Trade Commission, which enforces deceptive advertising laws, issues general guidelines. A full-page magazine photo of a thirsty runner guzzling from a glistening bottle of Fiji water is so obviously an advertisement it doesn’t have to be disclosed. If the same water brand pays the magazine to publish what appears to be a news story about the health benefits of its product, it must be clearly labeled an advertisement so consumers aren’t confused.While federal regulators are taking a closer look at advertising these days, they can’t possibly monitor all the promotional activity out there. So the FTC occasionally cracks down to send a message, as it did in 2017 with letters to more than 90 influencers and marketers reminding them about the need to disclose paid promotions in social media. The spotty enforcement presents a big gray area for the toy industry.The lists are a powerful negotiating tool for retailers, according to industry insiders familiar with the process. Toymakers are led to understand that if they buy marketing space on the lists they will get bigger orders, the people said. Sometimes manufacturers get better visibility if they agree to sell a product exclusively through the retailer, they said. Retailers include only toys on the list that they are actually selling.Lists are a fast-growing part of Amazon’s advertising business. Amazon holiday gift guides promoting toys, electronics and home goods combined to generate more than $120 million in revenue in 2017, up about 40% from the previous year, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg.What sets Amazon apart from other retailers is how much it charges for space on its toy page over the holidays. A narrow strip across the top of the web page costs $500,000 per month in November and December, up from $150,000 the rest of the year, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg. A billboard ad atop the toys page runs $300,000 per month, up from $75,000 the rest of the year.Similar spots atop Walmart’s toy page cost $180,000 in November and $132,000 in December. According to Comscore, Amazon generates about twice as much web traffic as Walmart, which could explain the discrepancy in pricing.Public Citizen, the watchdog group, in July lodged a complaint with the FTC about Amazon’s annual summer sale Prime Day, alleging the retailer didn’t do enough to help shoppers differentiate between paid promotions and genuine recommendations. The FTC confirmed receiving the complaint. The annual toy list presents similar concerns, Weissman said.“When Amazon presents a top 100 toy list,” he said, “it’s a mistake to assume that shoppers understand this is just paid billboard space versus a list Amazon curated itself.”To contact the reporters on this story: Spencer Soper in Seattle at ssoper@bloomberg.net;Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Amazon (AMZN) Q3 2019 Earnings Preview: AWS, Prime & Advertising
    Zacks

    Amazon (AMZN) Q3 2019 Earnings Preview: AWS, Prime & Advertising

    Amazon stock is down 11% in the last three months heading into its Q3 earnings release on Thursday, October 24. So let's see what to expect from the e-commerce giant, including AWS, Prime, and advertising...

  • India's Sitharaman: US trade pact a 'good possibility,' should come soon
    Yahoo Finance

    India's Sitharaman: US trade pact a 'good possibility,' should come soon

    As U.S. President Donald Trump hammers out a partial trade deal with China, Washington is moving forward on another front: India.

  • Tap Revenue Growth With These ETFs & Dump Earnings Recession
    Zacks

    Tap Revenue Growth With These ETFs & Dump Earnings Recession

    These sector ETFs could be played to highlight revenue growth in the third quarter.

  • Why frozen food sales are rocking again in America
    Yahoo Finance

    Why frozen food sales are rocking again in America

    The frozen food business continues to do wonders for the bottom line of Conagra Brands.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, NIKE, Procter & Gamble and Walmart
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, NIKE, Procter & Gamble and Walmart

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, NIKE, Procter & Gamble and Walmart

  • Dems Offer Grab-Bag of Tech Crackdown Ideas During Debate
    Bloomberg

    Dems Offer Grab-Bag of Tech Crackdown Ideas During Debate

    (Bloomberg) -- One of the sharper exchanges in Tuesday’s Democratic primary debate centered on the crucial public policy question of what to do about President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.During a broader back-and-forth over the power of large technology companies, Senator Kamala Harris repeatedly demanded that Senator Elizabeth Warren support her effort to pressure Twitter to kick President Donald Trump off the platform. In response, Warren steered the conversation to her commitment not to accept big checks from tech executives. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who had been lamenting the prevalence of smartphone addiction a moment earlier, jumped in to complain that Americans weren’t getting paid for their data. “Who remembers getting your data check in the mail?” he asked. The exchange illustrated a wider dynamic of the Democrats’ approach to tech. The candidates all agree that something needs to be done about America’s technology giants. They just can’t agree on what that something is.The need for a crackdown on large U.S. technology companies has become an area of bipartisan agreement, with Republicans and Democrats alike raising concerns about market power, privacy and the influence large tech companies have over political discourse. But unlike time-worn political flash points like abortion or gun control, the tech debate has yet to be boiled down to simple left-right bromides that candidates can repeat on the stump. The result was an unfocused conversation on the debate stage.  Warren, who was treated as the frontrunner throughout the evening, has put out the clearest plans among the Democratic candidates. For months she’s been calling to break up Facebook Inc., Amazon Inc. and Google. “I'm not willing to give up and let a handful of monopolists dominate our democracy and our economy. It's time to fight back,” she said Tuesday. Yang said he agreed with her diagnosis. “Monopolies need to be dealt with,” added Tom Steyer.But the conversation quickly shifted from antitrust to privacy to election security. And candidates weren’t just thinking about breaking up Big Tech. Senator Cory Booker called for antitrust action that focused on everything from “pharma to farms” – referencing efforts to investigate consolidation in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industry. Most candidates focused their ire on Facebook and Twitter Inc. Harris’s attempt to browbeat Warren into supporting her stance on banning Trump’s Twitter account was notable for how it highlighted a parallel with Warren’s own crusade to pressure Facebook to ban misleading Trump ads on Facebook. Warren declined to comply and called out Amazon’s dominance in online shopping, saying that it held a much larger share of online sales than Walmart does of brick-and-mortar commerce. At another moment in the debate, Senator Amy Klobuchar brought up the Honest Ads Act, a bill she co-sponsored that increases disclosure requirements on who is paying for online advertisements. For his part, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke said that Facebook should be treated like a publisher, seemingly an allusion to a 1990s-era law protecting technology platforms from much legal liability for content their users post to their websites. “We would allow no publisher to do what Facebook is doing,” O’Rourke said. On the other hand, O’Rourke said that he did not see it as the role of a presidential candidate to call out particular companies that needed to be broken up. It was a subtle dig at Warren, whose explicit plan to break up the companies has clearly made her the candidate who other candidates measure their own ideas on tech against.  To contact the author of this story: Eric Newcomer in New York at enewcomer@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Brustein at jbrustein@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • $30 Billion of Proof That India's Tech Scene Is Back
    Bloomberg

    $30 Billion of Proof That India's Tech Scene Is Back

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- India’s largest startup is ready to birth its own unicorn. That’d be unusual anywhere, but that it’s happening in India offers some hope for the country’s long-awaited tech renaissance. This is also  great news for Walmart Inc. The U.S. retail behemoth paid $16 billion for 77% of India e-commerce company Flipkart Group in May last year. That deal included payments unit PhonePe — an early pioneer in the digital-wallet business — which Flipkart had acquired two years earlier. Now Walmart is engineering a spinoff as part of a $1 billion funding round that could value payment unit at up to $10 billion and give the retailer an 82% stake in PhonePe and Flipkart, India’s Economic Times reported. From one $20.8 billion company 18 months ago, India will get two unicorns at a combined value of up to $30 billion.(1)There are already indications that PhonePe has shed its Flipkart training wheels. From 50% of its transactions three years ago, Flipkart now accounts for just 0.5%, Indian media outlet The Ken reported, citing PhonePe’s head of strategy and planning. During Flipkart’s annual Big Billion Days sale last month, PhonePe’s logo no longer had top billing on the e-commerce website, according to The Ken. Instead it was listed as just one of the many payment options available to online shoppers.  That PhonePe is preparing to fly solo is also a sign of India’s maturing digital sector. Not only is the company willing to directly tackle rivals such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google Pay and Facebook Inc.’s forthcoming WhatsApp payments, but it’s also managing to survive in the scary wilderness beyond the gates of Flipkart. (Survive, of course, is a relative term. It’s likely still burning cash and posting losses, though at least it can keep up with well-funded adversaries, a key measure of success at this point in the game.)More broadly, the PhonePe spinoff would strengthen the case that a homegrown hero can hold its own when foreign rivals enter. Paytm, another Indian startup, is on the verge of landing a $2 billion round of funding from investors including Ant Financial, SoftBank Group Corp. and Discovery Capital Management which could give it a $16 billion valuation, Bloomberg News reported this week.Hopefully the momentum at both PhonePe and Paytm will spur more Indian entrepreneurship, feeding a rebirth in India’s tech sector not seen since the IT-outsourcing boom two decades ago. While that gave us Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Infosys Ltd., Wipro Ltd. and dozens more, most of those businesses focused on serving foreign needs. Now, a crop of stars is emerging to meet the needs of India’s 1.3 billion people. It’s not a big step from this spinoff to an actual IPO, a development that will put India back on the global technology map.(1) This assumes no reduced valuation for Flipkart.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Chipotle Q3 Earnings Preview: Buy Soaring CMG Stock on Continued Sales Growth?
    Zacks

    Chipotle Q3 Earnings Preview: Buy Soaring CMG Stock on Continued Sales Growth?

    Shares of Chipotle have skyrocketed over 90% in 2019. Now with Chipotle set to release its Q3 2019 financial results on Tuesday, October 22, let's dive into some estimates and fundamentals to see if investors should consider buying CMG stock right now...

  • Walmart (WMT) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Walmart (WMT) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, Walmart (WMT) closed at $119.53, marking a +0.3% move from the previous day.

  • 4 Blue-Chip Stocks Rallying in 2019 Amid Slowdown Concern
    Zacks

    4 Blue-Chip Stocks Rallying in 2019 Amid Slowdown Concern

    Some blue-chip stocks have however surged, defying all odds, and still have upside left for the rest of this year.

  • Walmart starts delivering groceries, to your garage or fridge, in 3 US cities
    Yahoo Finance

    Walmart starts delivering groceries, to your garage or fridge, in 3 US cities

    The InHome service rolls out in three cities — Vero Beach, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City.

  • Paytm Nears SoftBank, Ant Fundraising at a $16 Billion Valuation
    Bloomberg

    Paytm Nears SoftBank, Ant Fundraising at a $16 Billion Valuation

    (Bloomberg) -- Paytm is close to scoring $2 billion of new financing from investors including Jack Ma’s Ant Financial and SoftBank Group Corp., a person familiar with the matter said, describing a mega-deal that will raise the temperature in India’s increasingly heated financial payments arena.Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management is also in discussions to join a funding round that values the country’s top online financial services firm at $16 billion, the person said, asking not to be identified talking about a private deal. The funding will be split evenly between equity and debt and is aimed at helping Paytm fend off an influx of rivals, the person said. Talks are in their final stages but the terms could still change, the person added.If a deal is finalized, Paytm could outstrip fellow high-profile Asian startups such as Grab and Gojek in valuation. Billionaire Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is raising capital to protect the startup’s share of a potentially $1 trillion Indian payments market from newer entrants Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart’s PhonePe. Over the past year, a string of new apps have made payments increasingly easy, bringing discounts and cash bonuses to young, smartphone-savvy users.Paytm remains the leader for now. The firm has in a decade become India’s biggest digital payments brand, attracting big names in investing from Alibaba co-founder Ma and SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son to Warren Buffett. Sharma got a huge boost in 2016 after India’s government moved to eliminate most of the nation’s paper money in circulation in a bid to curb corruption. His startup, a pioneer in the country’s nascent field, saw tens of millions of consumers and hundreds of thousands of businesses sign up for digital services in a matter of months.“India is a large market,” said Kunal Pande, head of financial services risk consulting at KPMG. “Digital payments adoption is growing quickly, yet there is room for massive growth as users get comfortable transacting digitally. The large business opportunity makes it attractive for both domestic startups and large global players.”Read more: Facebook and Google Chase a New $1 Trillion Payments MarketPaytm, which is also backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., declined to comment in response to emailed questions. Ant had no immediate comment when contacted, while Discovery Capital and SoftBank declined to comment.Sharma is now extending his online empire into e-commerce and banking, even as others encroach on his turf. The Indian payments market remains a chaotic field where the rules are hazy on what players can offer, yet its promise has lured a string of competitors including Indian banks, its postal service and its richest man, Mukesh Ambani.Credit Suisse Group AG now estimates that the Indian digital payments market will touch $1 trillion by 2023 from about $200 billion currently. It’s a market with huge potential: Cash still accounts for 70% of all Indian transactions by value, according to Credit Suisse, and neighboring China is far more advanced with a mobile payments market worth more than $5 trillion.Ant Financial, China’s largest provider of internet financial services and one of Paytm’s earliest backers, has said it will continue investing in mobile-payment providers around the world to boost offshore revenue and buttress itself against rising competition and tighter regulation at home.It’s not clear how much SoftBank would contribute, but the Japanese company is going through a rocky stretch. SoftBank’s shares are down about 30% from their peak this year as investors, unnerved by the WeWork turmoil and Uber Technologies Inc.’s disappointing debut, grow skittish about startup valuations.\--With assistance from Lulu Yilun Chen, Hema Parmar and Vincent Bielski.To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at srai33@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Arijit Ghosh at aghosh@bloomberg.net, ;Sarah Wells at smcdonald23@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) Insiders Have Been Selling
    Simply Wall St.

    Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) Insiders Have Been Selling

    We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. The flip side of that is...

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walmart, Amazon, Target and Dollar General
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walmart, Amazon, Target and Dollar General

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walmart, Amazon, Target and Dollar General

  • Why Wall Street isn't sweating Walmart losing US CEO Greg Foran
    Yahoo Finance

    Why Wall Street isn't sweating Walmart losing US CEO Greg Foran

    Walmart's new U.S. CEO is a 'seasoned executive' and the momentum should continue, analysts say.

  • Is Holiday Season Frenzy Fading for Retail ETFs?
    Zacks

    Is Holiday Season Frenzy Fading for Retail ETFs?

    The past trend shows that holiday season shopping euphoria is losing its craze, per Coresight. These retail ETFs may be hit hard if that be the case.

  • Bloomberg

    Uber to Acquire Chile Grocery Startup Walmart Failed to Buy

    (Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. plans to buy a majority stake in online grocer Cornershop, a deal designed to extend its geographic reach and bolster profits by bundling food delivery with rides.The move, which is subject to regulatory approval, could end uncertainty for the Santiago, Chile-based startup backed by Accel and other venture investors. Walmart Inc. announced its intention more than a year ago to purchase Cornershop outright for $225 million and re-sell the company to its Mexican subsidiary, only to have Mexican regulators oppose the move in June for antitrust reasons.Cornershop is the largest home delivery platform in Mexico and Chile. The app allows users to order groceries from a variety of stores such as Costco Wholesale Corp., Petco Holdings Inc., Walmart, bakeries and pharmacies, and have everything delivered at once, usually within 90 minutes. The items usually carry a higher price tag on top of the delivery fee. The four-year-old startup also operates in Peru and Canada. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.The arrangement could play a significant role in Uber’s strategy of layering more profitable services atop ride-sharing. Since the company’s disappointing initial public offering, the share price has dropped more than 30% and Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi has sought to reassure investors that Uber is focused on turning a profit and continuing to grow.When Walmart attempted to buy Cornershop, analysts saw the purchase as a way for the retailer to increase its e-commerce presence with the help of an established app that brought a giant database of users and more importantly, its consumer patterns.“It’s already positioned, it knows the market well and it was going to accelerate this process for Walmart,” said Marisol Huerta, an analyst at Banco Ve Por Mas. “It’s the same strategy for Uber.”The acquisition by Uber means the San Francisco-based company will expand on its Eats offering with the ability to deliver not only prepared food from restaurants, but a wide set of groceries, Huerta said. “They’ll be entering a new market but they’ll already have a big data base and the structure to operate in it.”Uber says it expects the deal to close in early 2020. Cornershop will continue to operate under its current leadership, reporting to a board with majority Uber representation.“Whether it’s getting a ride, ordering food from your favorite restaurant, or soon, getting groceries delivered, we want Uber to be the operating system for your everyday life,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement announcing the deal.(Updates with comments from analyst in the sixth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Lizette Chapman in San Francisco at lchapman19@bloomberg.net;Andrea Navarro in Mexico City at anavarro30@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Molly Schuetz, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Uber Scrambles Into Groceries With Cornershop. Why?
    Bloomberg

    Uber Scrambles Into Groceries With Cornershop. Why?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- But why?That’s the question I keep asking as Uber Technologies Inc. makes the case that driving people around cities gives it a leg up on moving physical goods from place to place — restaurant food, freight by truck and groceries.Uber on Friday expanded those efforts by agreeing to buy a majority of Cornershop, which helps supermarkets, pharmacies and food retailers deliver their goods. It had operated mostly in Mexico and Chile before a recent expansion. Walmart Inc. agreed last year to buy Cornershop for $225 million, but Mexican regulators blocked the deal. Uber didn’t disclose its purchase price. Uber’s pitch is that having drivers drop people at work or transport them on date nights gives it an opportunity to also deliver burritos, bananas or movie theater popcorn to people’s homes. (That last one is a real thing, somehow.) Executives have said that restaurant delivery and experiments with other categories such as groceries give Uber couriers more work, particularly outside of the peak demand for car rides. This all sounds nice, until you think about it for more than five seconds.Every time Uber wants to enter a new delivery or logistics category, it needs to strike relationships with a new class of companies. Restaurants are a finicky bunch, and so are grocery store chains or companies that want to ship goods by truck.I have been stunned that Uber executives aren’t pressed to justify the strategic and financial efficiencies among their various businesses. On the consumer side of the equation, I may be more likely to order Uber Eats for dinner or grocery staples if I am used to taking an Uber car ride. But it’s not clear there is overlap on the supply side among ersatz taxi drivers, restaurants, grocery stores and other retailers. Does Uber’s expertise in matching drivers with riders really help the company build or hook into point-of-sale systems for restaurant orders and make sure owners get the support they need? Can it help a grocery store with inventory management, staffing changes or other complexities when adding home delivery to a conventional physical store? Cornershop’s built-up experience in that area won’t go away, but neither is it clear whether Uber’s ownership will help.Nor has Uber ever said whether the people driving passengers around are the same ones picking up restaurant orders or groceries for delivery. For one thing, in many big cities — including many of the ones that Cornershop serves — deliveries of food or groceries are done by motorbike or bicycle because that’s more efficient in traffic-clogged areas. Is that courier on a scooter delivering a sack of bread and milk in Mexico City one minute and then taking someone to the airport the next?And it is difficult to imagine how the particulars of Uber’s model will ever make for an efficient grocery delivery operation compared with what more specialized players will offer. Compare it, for example, with Ocado Group Plc, the British company that has been an early innovator in this space and will soon deploy its technology in the U.S. through a partnership with grocery behemoth Kroger Co.Ocado’s delivery vans are designed for ferrying fresh food efficiently. Vehicles have separate compartments for items that must be kept chilled. Totes are loaded into them in a specific order based on the driver’s route. The heaviest totes are placed in the middle racks within the van, making it easier for the driver to unload than if they had to be pulled down from a high shelf or hoisted off the floor.It defies logic that a fleet of contract workers at the helm of wildly different vehicles will be able to deliver grocery orders as productively. And that matters enormously for the profitability of these orders.The big conundrum for Uber is it must keep expanding, even if it doesn’t work. Growth has significantly slowed in Uber’s core business of rides on demand, which makes it essential for the company to find fresh, higher-growth businesses. (That may explain why Uber shares are trading higher on the Cornershop news.) This was also a company predicated on having a global reach and for which car rides were billed as the start of a sprawling empire to move people or goods in every imaginable way.Sprawl, growth and ambition are how Uber could justify a rapidly increasing valuation up to what investment bankers pitched as a possible valuation of $120 billion in an initial public offering. To put it mildly, Uber has not delivered. The share price has fallen about 33% since the IPO in May, and the stock is even below the level at which Uber sold shares in private transactions nearly five years ago. Ouch. The company has become a poster child for overinflated tech startups.A big reason Uber has been a flop for investors is the company has not made an effective case for its financial viability — even in its most established category of car rides. So it’s odd that Uber would make forays into additional logistically tricky and financially uncertain categories such as groceries without having a better story to tell. \--With assistance from Sarah Halzack.To contact the author of this story: Shira Ovide at sovide@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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