Walmart is the world’s largest retailer, operating more than 11,500 stores around the world and employing over 2.2 million people. Founded nearly 60 years ago, Walmart is a major leader in the retail industry and is continuing to innovate and lead the way. On Tuesday, the company reaffirmed its first-quarter and current fiscal-year guidance, indicating there has not been a drastic shift in customer attitudes. Shares of Walmart were little changed in after-hours trading on Tuesday, off 0.8% at $146, while the S&P 500 was down 0.6%.
Heading into the Tuesday event, analysts were expecting an upbeat tone from the company with regards to their underlying business drivers and expectations for the coming fiscal year. True to expectations, Walmart reiterated their growth targets of 4% sales growth, and more than 4% operating income growth over the next three to five years. To reach these objectives, the company plans to focus investment in their supply chain, with 65% of stores serviced by automation and approximately 55% of fulfillment center volumes being moved through automated facilities by fiscal 2021. Additionally, the company will be looking to diversify their earnings streams and continue to scale their high-return investments.
At the annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, Walmart will detail their plans to achieve the growth targets outlined. For now, it is clear that Walmart is a litmus test for consumer health and is making sure they are in a strong position in light of current conditions.