Walmart shares close lower on Friday, Steve Bratspies, Walmart U.S. Chief Merchandising Officer, to leave retailer

According to a report by Reuters, citing an internal memo by Walmart Inc (WMT), Steve Bratspies, Chief Merchandising Officer of Walmart U.S., is to part ways with the company.

Walmart shares closed lower for the seventh time in the past ten trading sessions in New York on Friday. It has also been the steepest daily loss since January 10th. The stock went down 0.81% ($0.94) to $114.96, after touching an intraday low at $114.64, or a price level not seen since January 15th ($114.52).

Shares of Walmart Inc have retreated 3.26% so far in 2020 compared with a 3.06% 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.

Steve Bratspies has played a key role in improving food offerings, digital capabilities and pricing at Walmart’s 5 000 stores across the United States since 2015.

The retailer said that Scott McCall would succeed Bratspies. McCall joined Walmart 25 years ago as an hourly management trainee and most recently served as merchandising manager for entertainment, toys and seasonal goods.

Meanwhile, Walmart said that Dacona Smith, the Chief Operating Officer of clubhouse operator Sam’s Club, would assume the COO role at Walmart U.S.

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 a 13.95% upside compared to the closing price of $114.96 on January 17th.

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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