The heirs to one of the largest companies in the world maintain a large ownership in it. Here’s a look at the recent sales by Walmart Inc WMT heirs and what ownership stake three of the richest people in the world have left in the company.
What Happened: Retail giant Walmart opened its first store in 1962 in Arkansas before expanding nationwide and internationally. The company was co-founded by brothers Sam Walton and James “Bud” Walton.
Walmart went public in 1970 and has expanded to top the Fortune 500 list for several years as the top revenue generating company. Today, Walmart has more than 10,500 stores across 46 different names and locations in 24 countries.
The company is largely owned by the Walton Family Holdings Trust and the Walton Enterprises LLC. Three of the richest people in the world are the largest heirs to the family fortune and have extensive ownership of the ventures.
Sam’s three surviving children, Jim Walton, Rob Walton and Alice Walton, rank among the world’s richest people. Jim ranks 17th at $63.1 billion, Rob ranks 19th at $62.5 billion and Alice ranks 20th at $60.7 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
In 2022, there have been 21 sales and no buys from Walmart insiders according to Benzinga’s Insider Trades page. The transactions include sales from the three Walton heirs including those recently reported on Aug.19.
A transaction on Aug. 19 by the Walton Family Holdings Trust saw 3.34 million shares sold at an average of $139.50, leaving 1.28 billion shares owned by the trust and Walton Enterprises LLC after.
Along with the ownership in the trust and LLC, the three siblings own the following:
Jim: 10,507,124 WMT shares
Alice: 6,748,580 WMT shares
Rob: 3,219,243.58354 WMT shares
Why It’s Important: Walmart shares have held up relatively well compared to retail peers in 2022. Shares are down 6.2% year-to-date in 2022 and down 10% in the last year. E-commerce leader and Walmart rival Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN was down 16% over the last year and down 21.5% year-to-date in 2022.
While other billionaires on the Bloomberg list were down big in 2022, including Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos whose wealth has fallen $30 billion to $162 billion, the Waltons have fared better losing a range of $1.4 billion to $1.9 billion each in their wealth.
The sales of Walmart stock happen typically once or twice a year by the trust to keep the ownership stake in the company at around 50% for the trust and LLC combined.
The sales put the total Walmart shares owned at 283,200,824 owned by the trust and 1,000,891,131 totaling around 1.28 billion shares. There are 2.74 billion shares of Walmart outstanding.
More sales from the Waltons and the trust could bring the overall ownership down and look concerning to investors with shares moving higher.
Insider sales also show Walmart CEO Doug McMillon selling shares of the retailer.
While Walmart stock has turned around over the last one to two months, a string of insider sales by the company’s largest owners and CEO might not show confidence in the company going forward.
WMT Price Action: Walmart shares are down 0.99% to $135.64 on Monday versus a 52-week range of $117.27 to $160.77.
Photo: Jim Walton, Alice Walton and Rob Walton, Walmart Corporation via Flickr Creative Commons
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