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Dec
2
Tim Lambert
New CEO Makes Wal-Mart Suitable for Every Investing Objective
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Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), the world’s largest company, has a new chief executive officer, Douglas McMillon.  He is “old school” Wal-Mart, working his way up through the ranks, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.  That means that he understands the mission of Wal-Mart is bringing goods and services of an acceptable quality at a low price to consumers around the world.  For that reason, Wal-Mart is a stock that should be owned by growth, value, and income investors.

The cashiers ring up more than $400 billion in sales each year for Wal-Mart.

As it is difficult to move the needle too much for numbers like that, Wal-Mart provides steady growth.  That happened over The Great Recession, too, as others such as JC Penney (NYSE: JCP) and Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) experienced negative growth.  There is much to be said for a company like that.  Over the five years, the analyst community is looking for Wal-Mart to register earnings-per-share growth at the rate of more than 8.50% a year.

There is much for value investors to like about Wal-Mart, too.

It is selling at a price-to-sales ratio of 0.56.  That means that every dollar of sales is discounted more than 40 percent in the stock price.  In addition, the price-to-earnings ratio for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is around 20.  For Wal-Mart, it is around 15.

Income investors should love that Wal-Mart is a “Dividend Aristocrat.”

To earn that distinction, Wal-Mart increased its dividend annually for at least the past 25 years.  The average dividend for a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is around 1.9 percent.  Sears Holdings and JC Penney do not pay a divdiend. For Wal-Mart, it is more than 2.3 percent.  With its history of growing the dividend, Wal-Mart is ideal for an income investor.

Wal-Mart is also a major holding of Warren Buffett, considered by many to be the greatest investor in history.  That should comfort all investors, no matter if growth, value, or income is the objective.



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