Walmart Hikes on Upgrade

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) rose in early trading after Evercore ISI upgraded Walmart to outperform from in-line. The investment firm said in a note to clients that Walmart is poised to see traffic and margins improve over the next two years.

The firm’s analysts advised that “traffic momentum and margin expansion: are likely despite an uncertain macro backdrop. Additionally, the analysts view the Arkansas-based superstore operator is a solid choice given its scale, balance sheet and stability even if the valuation isn’t necessarily inexpensive at present.

“Management's diligent work to pivot the business to omnichannel, divest non-core assets, and invest in productivity has positioned traffic and margins for upside over the next two years,” the team explained. “The traffic turn appears to be building, and with consumers across the demographic spectrum making wallet allocation choices after several years of record nominal retail spending, Walmart is poised to regain share.”
Evercore raised its price target to $160 from a prior $145 alongside the upgrade.

Moreover, Walmart today announced this week, it will host its 2023 Investment Community Meeting on April 4-5 in Florida. On Wednesday, April 5, beginning at 8 a.m. EDT, the company will webcast presentations from CEO Doug McMillon, John David Rainey, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and the company’s business unit CEOs for Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club to discuss Walmart’s strategic plans.

Shares of Walmart rose $1.47 or 1% soon after Thursday’s opening bell, to $145.69.