If You Invested $1,000 In Walmart Stock One Year Ago, Here's How Much You'd Have Now


Investors who have owned stocks over the last year have generally experienced some decent gains. In fact, the SPDR S&P 500 SPY total return over the last 12 months is 15.1%. But there is no question some big-name stocks performed better than others along the way.

Walmart’s Bumpy Road: One company that has been a disappointing investment in the past year has been retailer Walmart Inc WMT.

Fortunately for Walmart investors, the company’s grocery and online shopping businesses were relatively insulated from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, Walmart’s fiscal 2021 revenue was up 6.7% to $559 billion, while rising costs drove net income down 9.2% to $13.5 billion. In the most recent quarter, Walmart reported online sales growth of 8% compared to a year ago and 87% compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

At the beginning of 2020, Walmart shares were trading at $118.86. By the beginning of March of that year, the stock was down to $107.60 as news of the coronavirus spreading in China prompted concerns about a U.S. pandemic.

Walmart ultimately bottomed at $102 during the pandemic-driven March sell-off. Fortunately for Walmart investors, the dip didn't last long.

By mid-April, Walmart shares were back at new all-time highs above $130 and got as high as $151.33 in early September.

Related Link: If You Invested $1,000 In Coca-Cola's Stock One Year Ago, Here's How Much You'd Have Now

Walmart In 2022, Beyond: Walmart ultimately peaked at $153.66 in early December 2020. Unfortunately, while the rest of the market was making new highs throughout 2021, Walmart was trading mostly sideways in a wide range, between around $135 and around $152. Walmart is currently trading at the low end of that range at $134.

Walmart is dealing with several headwinds in the market in 2022. Investors are concerned Walmart will be losing its pandemic online sales growth tailwinds in coming quarters.

Meanwhile, Amazon.com, Inc AMZN is the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to competition for all brick-and-mortar retailers, and Walmart is stepping up to the challenge by investing heavily in digital initiatives, technological innovations and even the metaverse.

Those investments coupled with rising fuel, shipping and product costs could pressure Walmart's margins. Finally, Walmart’s price-to-earnings ratio of around 47 is on the high end of its historical range and is somewhat pricey for a stock generating only single-digit annual revenue growth.

Unfortunately, Walmart investors who bought one year ago and held on have generated a negative return on their investment. In fact, $1,000 in Walmart stock bought on Feb. 16, 2021, would be worth about $945 today, assuming reinvested dividends.

Looking ahead, analysts are expecting Walmart to be back at new all-time highs once again in the next 12 months. The average price target among the 33 analysts covering the stock is $170, suggesting 26.9% upside from current levels.

Photo: Courtesy of Mike Mozart on Flickr

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