Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is a global retailer that dominates both the brick-and-mortar and online space. The company has traded on public markets since 1970 and has greatly rewarded long-term investors.
The stock has long held a prominent position as a solid, long-term blue-chip investment in millions of investors' portfolios. Today the company has annual revenues in excess of $500 billion and employs 2.3 million associates around the globe via Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club. Discover how to buy Walmart stock along with the pros and cons.
Walmart at a Glance
Walmart is the leading value retailer (indeed, the largest retailer, period) and today has over 270 million customers. The brand is known for its 11,700 big-box stores that offer everything from clothing, household goods, and groceries to electronics, sporting goods and toys to tires and hardware. Recently, the company made a major push toward integrating e-commerce with brick-and-mortar operations, and today its websites contribute significantly to top-line growth.
You can easily make purchases online, pick up items at the store or enjoy free two-day shipping and the convenience of in-store returns if necessary. Walmart employs a mind-boggling 2.3 million associates and invests heavily in compensation to strengthen loyalty and the customer service experience.
History of Walmart Stock
Walmart debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 1970, declared its first dividend in 1974, and has increased the dividend annually ever since. Shares have weathered recessions and economic downturns better than most of the market. Walmart's strengths are that consumers always need to shop and look for great deals. Walmart thrives on both of those fronts while having a reasonable valuation. Walmart won't soar like popular growth stocks generating strong top-line growth, but it won't crash either.
Why Purchase Walmart stock?
Walmart has been around for over 60 years, but does that mean you should buy the stock? These are the pros and cons to consider before adding Walmart to your watchlist.
Pros of Purchasing Walmart Stock
- Walmart's brand name is synonymous with value and with $500 billion in annual revenue, the company is incredibly stable.
- Walmart is twice as large as Amazon.
- The dividend is remarkably reliable, having increased annually every year since 1974.
- In the event of an economic downturn, Walmart is well-positioned as the on-the-ground, value retailer of choice for price-conscious shoppers around the globe.
- Walmart is leveraging its unmatched on-the-ground retail presence to augment a superior online shopping experience.
Cons of Purchasing Walmart Stock
- Amazon has the edge with e-commerce.
- As with any retailer, Walmart would be impacted to some extent by an economic downturn. This could lead to a pullback in consumer spending here in the U.S. and, potentially, around the globe.
- A movement in the U.S. toward a significantly higher minimum wage could also impact margins and bottom-line growth.
How to Purchase WMT
As a member of the Dow 30, Walmart is considered blue-chip and its stock is available for purchase through all major brokerage firms that trade in securities. These are the steps you can use to purchase shares:
- Size your investment. Determine the total amount of money you wish to allocate to Walmart's stock and then figure out the number of shares by dividing the total amount by the current share price.
- Select a broker. Most brokers that allow for individual trading of stocks will be able to purchase Walmart's stock. You can review brokers based on costs, services, and tools they offer.
- Purchase shares of Walmart. When you're ready to execute your order, go online to your brokerage of choice and purchase the shares through a purchase order. You can practice with a demo account to get a feel for how to do so before doing it the first time.
Best Online Stock Brokers
Investors can use many brokerage firms to buy stocks. These are some of the top brokers available.
Future Outlook for Walmart
In some ways, Walmart is exceptionally predictable, especially given its size and scale. Yet there are no sure bets when it comes to investing. Still, analysts generally acknowledge that the company is uniquely positioned to square off against Amazon, its reputation for providing a high-quality customer experience is steadily improving and the company seems to be making significant progress in growing the online side of the business.
Time will ultimately tell whether Walmart lives up to long-term expectations, but currently, WMT stock appears to be a reasonable value.
Investing in Walmart Stock
Purchasing stock can seem like a complex process, especially when managing multiple companies. Couple that with the extensive amount of research that may be needed to analyze an investment, and many investors opt for mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) instead.
Investing in individual stocks like Walmart can potentially lead to higher returns and help you construct a portfolio that is right for you. Take the time to do your homework, and be sure you have a solid understanding of the risks and rewards before making any investment. Walmart can be a great starting point, but it is important to determine your financial goals and risk tolerance before accumulating shares.
Is Walmart a good stock?
Walmart is a blue-chip corporation that offers affordable prices for many essential goods. The company has rewarded many investors and can make for a great investment depending on your financial goals and risk tolerance.
Who holds the most Walmart stock?
Walton Enterprises, the Walton Family, and Vanguard are the top three shareholders. The Walton family and its enterprise own almost half of WMT stock.
Is Walmart a safe stock?
Every stock carries a degree of risk, but Walmart offers more safety than many companies. Walmart has been resilient during economic downturns and generates billions of dollars in profits every quarter.