Walmart shares gain the most in 7 1/2 weeks on Thursday, 134 stores opened in Mexico last year, retailer says

Walmart Inc (WMT) has opened 134 new stores in Mexico in 2019 to mark the largest expansion in the country in six years, while increasing its presence there by almost 5%.

At present, the US retailer operates 3 407 stores in Mexico, where it runs more outlets than in any other country outside the United States.

Walmart shares closed higher for the fourth time in the past ten trading sessions in New York on Thursday. It has also been the sharpest daily surge since November 18th. The stock went up 1.03% ($1.20) to $117.36, after touching an intraday high at $117.37, or a price level not seen since January 7th ($117.52).

Shares of Walmart Inc have retreated 1.25% so far in 2020 compared with a 1.36% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Walmart’s stock went up 27.58%, thus, it again underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

Almost all of the new stores are part of the Bodega Aurrera chain, which offers cheaper goods in unison with Walmart’s “Everyday Low Prices” strategy. The emphasis on the Bodega family of stores is also part of Walmart’s efforts to compete with informal marketplaces in the country and attract low-income shoppers.

Meanwhile, the company has opened 27 stores in Central America in 2019.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 29 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Walmart Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $131.00, with a high estimate of $152.00 and a low estimate of $109.00. The median estimate represents an 11.62% upside compared to the closing price of $117.36 on January 9th.

The same media also reported that at least 16 out of 30 surveyed investment analysts had rated Walmart Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 9 – as “Hold”.

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