Walmart Installs Solar Arrays in Mass.

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Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) has completed eight solar photovoltaic (:PV) arrays in Massachusetts in order to increase the share of renewable energy to power its stores and improve energy efficiency.

These solar PV arrays are equipped with almost 10,000 panels through which they will generate  2.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually and thus save approximately 1,484 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e) annually.

Walmart is well on track to reach its goal of supplying 100% renewable energy. It has recently committed to increase the production of renewable energy to 7 billion kWh globally every year by Dec 2020, up 600% from 2010 levels. By 2020, Walmart will also reduce the intensity of energy required to power Walmart's buildings globally by 20% compared to 2010 levels.

Walmart is way ahead of other companies when it comes to the use of renewable power. It has installed over 200 solar plants and set a goal of installing solar power systems on at least 1,000 rooftops and facilities by 2020. Walmart has plans to develop projects in wind, fuel cells and other technologies.

We believe that Walmart’s commitment to expand and accelerate its solar power initiative program will not only create jobs and protect the environment but will also reduce costs for local businesses by lowering electricity bills. We thus remain confident that the company will continue to grow its solar energy program in the U.S. and around the world.

Very recently, Walmart reported fiscal first quarter 2014 earnings of $1.14 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.15 per share by 0.9%. Earnings were up 4.6% from the prior-year quarter earnings of $1.09 per share. The first quarter fiscal 2014 results were within the company’s earnings guidance range of $1.11 to $1.16 per share. Top-line growth coupled with cost savings boosted earnings in the quarter.

Walmart holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in the industry that are presently doing favorable business include Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR), Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. (HTSI) and Kroger Co. (KR). While Green Mountain holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Kroger and Harris Teeter carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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