Walmart, trading under the ticker WMT, is an enormous corporation that has achieved over $600 billion in sales over the past year. This indicates the company’s global reach, as it has expanded to nearly every corner of the world. Despite being a stable, mature business, Walmart (NYE:WMT) faces competition from firms such as Costco and Aldi, both of which threaten to reduce its established business.
Grocery Retail: A Difficult Business:
It is notoriously challenging to operate within the grocery store industry, and Walmart’s position within this industry is no exception. Grocery stores, which sell everyday goods from brands such as Coca-Cola, Hormel, and Clorox, face strong competition, which means that they do not make a lot of profit per sale.
The average profit margin is just in the low single digits, and this is one of the reasons for many grocery store closures. Another factor that lowers margins is inventory management. Unlike clothing stores, groceries often have a short shelf life, which means that items must be frequently checked to ensure that they don’t go bad, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process.
Grocery stores also require many employees to operate, such as cashiers, stockers, butchers, and bakers, which accounts for a significant portion of their expenditures.
The Price Advantage:
Large grocery store chains can operate and sell at scale, which lowers their operating expenses and allows them to pass on the savings to customers through lower prices. Due to the fierce competition among grocery stores, new entrants to the market find it difficult to compete because they lack the same scale as established stores, which means they cannot offer the same prices.
Low prices generate a flywheel effect: low prices increase sales, which increases scale, which in turn boosts negotiating power, allowing prices to drop even further. According to a report, people fill up their Walmart shopping cart with groceries and household essentials at unbeatable prices.
Walmart Stock Forecast:
Based on the Walmart stock forecast from 39 analysts, the average analyst target price for Walmart Inc is USD 161.29 over the next 12 months. Walmart Inc’s average analyst rating is Strong Buy.
Stock Target Advisor’s own stock analysis of Walmart Inc is Slightly Bullish, which is based on 8 positive signals and 6 negative signals. At the last closing, Walmart Inc’s stock price was USD 145.67. Walmart Inc’s stock price has changed by +3.57% over the past week, +3.68% over the past month and -2.80% over the last year.
The analysis also notes several positives, such as low volatility, superior risk-adjusted returns, and high market capitalization, but highlights areas for caution, including overpriced valuation compared to earnings and free cash flow, below-median dividend returns and total returns, and poor return on equity.
Despite the challenges, the grocery business remains appealing due to high revenue, with Americans spending billions on groceries annually. In this article, we have discussed the grocery store industry and the difficulties Walmart faces within it. Analysts rate Walmart Inc. as Strong Buy.