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Wal-Mart (WMT) Hits 52-Week High, Grocery Stocks Follow

Benjamin Rains
Shares of Walmart (WMT) soared to a new 52-week high on Tuesday morning after the big-box retailer provided strong new sales and revenue goals for fiscal 2019. This positive outlook helped send the rest of the industry, including Target (TGT) and Costco (COST), higher as well.

Shares of Walmart WMT soared to a new 52-week high on Tuesday morning after the big-box retailer provided strong new sales and revenue goals for fiscal 2019. This positive outlook helped send the rest of the industry, including Target TGT and Costco COST, higher as well.

On the same day the retail giant hosts its annual meeting for the investment community, Walmart reaffirmed its guidance for fiscal 2018 and announced a new share buyback program. What has investors more excited, however, is the fact that Walmart expects its net sales will grow around or above 3% in fiscal 2019, spurred by a 40% jump in U.S. e-commerce sales.

This push includes plans to add 1,000 more online grocery locations domestically. The retail giant, known for its sprawling and somewhat drab stores, wants to spend money to remodel stores and bolster its online presence over building new locations.

Instead of adding more locations at home, Walmart is set to open stores in new and growing markets abroad. The company expects to open less than 25 U.S. stores total in fiscal 2019, while opening roughly 225 locations in faster-growing regions, such as China and Mexico. The company is already offering one-hour delivery from select Chinese locations.

“We’re combining the accessibility of our stores with e-commerce to provide new and exciting ways for customers to shop,” Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement.

“We’re proud of the progress we’re making. We’re equipping our associates with training and technology so they will continue to innovate in our stores, clubs and through e-commerce to find ways to deliver an enjoyable shopping experience for our customers that is easy, fast, friendly and fun.”

The new, longer-term confidence from one of the biggest retail companies in the world—based on a commitment to emerging markets and a heavy focus on online selling—has helped renew many investors’ confidence in the $250 billion company.

Walmart saw its stock price gain almost 2% premarket, and its shares have surged over 4.50% since then to touch a new 52-week intraday trading high of $84.46 per share.

Walmart’s ability to pivot its business slightly to help fend off Amazon’s AMZN push into every inch of retail, including the grocery business, has also helped pull the rest of the industry up on Tuesday.

Shares of fellow big-box retailer Costco popped over 1.50%, while Target stock climbed almost 2%.

Smaller grocery chains also benefited from Walmart’s announcement. Shares of Casey's General Stores CASY and Sprouts Farmers Market SFM both gained over 1%, while Ingles Markets IMKTA jumped over 2.10%. Weis Markets WMK and Smart & Final Stores SFS both saw their stock prices surge over 2%.  

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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Target Corporation (TGT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (SFM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Smart (SFS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Caseys General Stores, Inc. (CASY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Ingles Markets, Incorporated (IMKTA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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