Does Wal-Mart Have a Bright Future?

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With shares of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) trading around $75, is WMT an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Wal-Mart operates retail stores in various formats around the world. The company aims to price items at the lowest price every day. Wal-Mart operates in three business segments: the Walmart U.S. segment, the Walmart international segment, and the Sam’s Club segment. It manages retail stores, restaurants, discount stores, supermarkets, super centers, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, apparel stores, Sam’s Clubs, neighborhood markets, and other small formats, as well as Walmart.com and SamsClub.com. Through its retail channels, Wal-Mart is able to provide a variety of products and services at affordable prices to consumers and companies worldwide.

Wal-Mart Stores have suffered struggling sales for a while now. Its business especially took a hit during the cold and snowy winter months, and Wal-Mart could use some warm weather. Though the weather certainly hasn’t cleared for good, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley said at an investor conference in New York Tuesday that Wal-Mart’s U.S. sales have improved since mid-February — the time when the retailer especially felt the blow to its its business — and according to Reuters, Holley maintained that the world’s largest retailer has had “very good sales” in recent weeks.

Wal-Mart certainly isn’t the only retailer that has felt the effects of the nation’s cold and snowy weather this winter season, but the case for the world’s largest retailer is still significant because it has been suffering struggling sales for a while now, and a slow winter season really wasn’t something the company could afford. Wal-Mart reported its latest set of disappointing earnings in mid-February, and received advice from analysts that executives should invest more in Wal-Mart’s better-performing small format business, because smaller-format stores are performing significantly better than their big-box counterparts. One Credit Suisse analyst, Michael Exstein, an industry veteran, advised the company’s new CEO Doug McMillion to consider buying Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) so Wal-Mart can further expand its small-format sector, but McMillion has still stayed mum as to whether he will heed that advice.

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