Walmart Inc (WMT) said on Thursday that it intended to expand a new “unlimited” grocery delivery service to about 1 400 stores during the fall.
Walmart shares closed higher for the ninth time in the past seventeen trading sessions in New York on Thursday. The stock went up 0.78% ($0.90) to $116.92, after touching an intraday high at $117.06, or a price level not seen since September 5th ($117.96).
Shares of Walmart Inc have risen 25.52% so far in 2019 compared with a 20.05% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).
In 2018, Walmart’s stock went down 5.67%, thus, it again outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 6.24% loss.
The retailer said the service would be offered in 200 metro areas, where regular grocery delivery had already been introduced, thus, covering more than half of the US population, by the end of 2019.
Walmart’s customers are given the option to pay either $12.95 per month for the so called Delivery Unlimited or $98 per year in order to get unlimited grocery delivery orders to their homes.
Delivery Unlimited has already been tested in four areas, including Tampa, Salt Lake City, Miami and Houston, Walmart said.
The US retailer also said it currently worked with more than 45 000 personal shoppers, who provide help in packing client grocery orders on a daily basis.
“We’ve been investing in our online grocery business by quickly expanding our Grocery Pickup and Delivery services. Delivery Unlimited is the next step in that journey,” Tom Ward, senior vice president of Walmart’s US digital operations, was quoted as saying by CNBC.
“By pairing our size and scale and these services we’re making Walmart the easiest place to shop,” he added.
Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation
According to CNN Money, the 28 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Walmart Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $122.00, with a high estimate of $135.00 and a low estimate of $105.00. The median estimate represents a 4.34% upside compared to the closing price of $116.92 on September 12th.
The same media also reported that at least 14 out of 30 surveyed investment analysts had rated Walmart Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 10 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 1 analyst had recommended selling the stock.