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Walmart shares close higher on Thursday, 20,000 supply chain workers to be hired ahead of holiday season

Walmart Inc (WMT) said earlier this week that it would hire 20,000 workers at its supply chain division ahead of the holiday season at a time when major retailers struggle with a shortage in labor and logistics.

The part-time and full-time roles that range from freight handlers to lift drivers, will be based at 250 Walmart and Sam’s Club distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices, Walmart said.

The retailer also said that the average wage for supply chain associates who would be hired would equal $20.37 per hour. Walmart had earlier this year increased the average wage for US hourly workers to at least $15.25 per hour.

Along with a nationwide labor shortage due to the COVID-19 crisis, major retailers are also trying to deal with rising freight costs because of bottlenecks at ports and container ship shortages as economies begin to recover from a pandemic-induced recession.

Walmart shares closed higher for the fifth time in the past ten trading sessions in New York on Thursday. The stock went up 0.53% ($0.78) to $148.56, after touching an intraday high at $148.79. The latter has been a price level not seen since August 25th ($149.28).

Shares of Walmart Inc have risen 3.06% so far in 2021 compared with a 20.79% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2020, Walmart’s stock went up 27.58%, thus, it outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 16.26% gain.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to TipRanks, at least 18 out of 22 surveyed investment analysts had rated Walmart Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 4 – as “Hold”. The median price target on the stock stands at $172.48.

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