What Will Wal-Mart Do Post-Earnings?

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With shares of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) trading around $73, 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’ new Chief Executive Doug McMillon, in his first earnings call since taking the helm of the world’s largest retailer on February 1, said he’ll accelerate openings of its better-performing smaller-format stores and signaling other changes to come as the company issued another disappointing outlook for the first-quarter and for the year. Any possible changes will be closely watched as Wal-Mart’s fourth-quarter same-store sales at its namesake U.S. unit, the bulk of its business, and a key investor focus dropped for a fourth straight quarter.

Wal-Mart blamed a shorter holiday season, winter storms that led to closings of over 200 stores companywide, and a cut in food stamp benefits that led to a decline even in its traditionally strong grocery business. Wal-Mart shares dropped almost 2 percent in early trading, biggest Dow decliner. The company said continued winter storms have led to a sales decline so far this month and that the global retail landscape remains challenging, hurt by low inflation, relatively high unemployment and “fragile” consumer confidence.

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