Wal-Mart Stores (WMT)

History of the Company

The roots of Wal-Mart began in 1950 when founder Sam Walton opened his first store in Bentonville, Arkansas, called Walton’s 5 & 10. Bentonville is still Wal-Mart’s headquarters. By 1967, the company had changed its name to Wal-Mart and was operating 24 stores in Arkansas. 

Wal-Mart began trading publicly in 1972, beginning a period of rapid expansion and growth that would continue over the next four decades and transform the company into the world’s largest retailer. By the 1990s Wal-Mart had expanded into all 50 states and many other countries and had become a household name. 

Wal-Mart operates thousands of discount stores, Supercenters, Sam’s Clubs, and international stores and continues to expand and open new locations. 

Trading Wal-Mart: What You Need to Know

  • Before trading any stock, it is important to analyze the company’s annual reports and quarterly earnings reports. This information is the first indicator of the future movement of a stock. Earnings above or below what was expected will generally have an effect on share prices. 
  • Another important factor is how a company’s competitors are performing. Wal-Mart’s main competition comes from Target and Costco in the U.S., while Amazon competes with online sales, and of course its international branches also have their low-cost competitors. In recent years, dollar stores like Dollar Tree have become more popular, creating more competition with Wal-Mart’s low-price model. 
  • Wal-Mart has proven its ability to enter new global markets and succeed. Currently, its biggest new markets are India and China, fueling much of the company’s growth. Developments in these countries will have an effect on revenues and stock values. 
  • One interesting characteristic of Wal-Mart stock is that it will stay flat for extended periods and then rise sharply when no one expects. Predicting these jumps can be very difficult, but the general trend continues upward.   

Whether Wal-Mart can continue to keep their prices low and expand to new markets while still maintaining revenues and growth remains to be seen. Traders interested in Wal-Mart stock should carefully analyze the current market conditions and the history of the company before trading.

Trade Wal-Mart