Retail giant Walmart Inc WMT opened its first store in 1962 in Arkansas before expanding nationwide and internationally. The company is one of the largest retailers and companies in the world today, a move that may have been boosted by going public in 1970.
Here’s a look at how Walmart stock has done since its IPO.
What Happened: The first Walmart store opened in Rogers, Arkansas in July 1962. Five years later, the company had 24 stores and was doing over $12 million in annual sales. The company incorporated as Wal Mart Stores in 1969 and laid out a plan to expand nationally in the 1970s.
To help with expansion and financials, the company decided to publicly list its shares.
“We wanted to expand, and we realized we weren’t generating enough profits both to expand and to pay off our debts …. (Bud and I) agreed to seriously explore the possibilities of going public. It was a huge step for us,” Walmart co-founder Sam Walton said.
Walmart held its initial price offering Oct. 1, 1970 with shares priced at $16.50 and traded over-the-counter. Shares quadrupled in two years and were later uplisted to the New York Stock Exchange on August 25, 1972.
The rest they say is history with Walmart shares enjoying a strong return over the years and the company expanding nationally and internationally to become a top global brand, even topping the Fortune 500 list for many years as the top revenue generating public company.
Walmart has over 10,500 stores across 46 names and locations in 24 countries today.
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Investing $1,000 In Walmart IPO: Walmart offered shares for $16.50 on Oct. 1, 1970 for its IPO. A $1,000 investment could have purchased 60.61 shares of Walmart stock.
Over the years, Walmart had had 11 2-for-1 stock splits, doubling the number of shares on each occasion. The 60.61 shares would have turned into 124,129.28 shares after the stock splits.
The $1,000 investment in Walmart stock at IPO would be worth $17,395,477.30 today based on a price of $140.14 for Walmart at the time of writing.
This represents a strong hypothetical return and doesn’t take into account the quarterly dividend payments that Walmart has paid out since 1974 that would add to the overall return.
Sam Walton's original Walton's Five and Dime, now the Wal-Mart Visitor's Center, Bentonville. Photo taken by Bobak Ha'Eri via Wikimedia.
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