Walmart Inc (WMT) is about to offer a higher minimum wage for a selection of newly created job positions at 500 of its US stores, since the retailer seeks to ensure better customer in-store experience.
Walmart shares closed lower for a second consecutive trading session in New York on Friday. It has also been the steepest daily loss since November 15th. The stock went down 1.24% ($1.44) to $114.37, after touching an intraday low at $114.16, or a price level not seen since September 3rd ($113.49).
Shares of Walmart Inc have retreated 3.76% so far in 2020 compared with a 2.00% 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.
According to Jami Lamontagne, a spokesperson for Walmart, team associates, a recently created role, will be offered a minimum hourly wage of $12.
Lamontagne also said that team associates would be cross-trained in several functions as they would carry more responsibility.
The minimum hourly pay at Walmart’s other stores across the United States is, at present, at $11.
Walmart’s entry-level wage for hourly workers in the United States was last increased to $11 in early 2018.
However, the company still falls behind other competitors such as Target. In 2017, Target revealed intentions to lift minimum hourly pay to $15 by the end of 2020. At present, it offers a starting wage of $13 per hour.
Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation
According to CNN Money, the 30 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Walmart Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $130.50, with a high estimate of $152.00 and a low estimate of $105.00. The median estimate represents a 14.10% upside compared to the closing price of $114.37 on January 24th.
The same media also reported that at least 16 out of 31 surveyed investment analysts had rated Walmart Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 10 – as “Hold”.