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Walmart shares close lower on Wednesday, retailer to hire over 50,000 US workers in first quarter

Walmart Inc (WMT) on Wednesday announced plans to hire over 50,000 workers in the United States during the first quarter.

The US retailer said the new hires would fill roles at its stores, clubs, campuses as well as supply chain facilities.

Last year the company hired 5,500 pharmacists or pharmacy managers, more than 13,000 pharmacy technicians and almost 4,500 truck drivers.

According to Walmart’s Chief People Officer Donna Morris, the average hourly rate stands at $16.40 per hour in the United States whereas the starting wage goes up to $30 per hour in select roles and markets.

The news followed an earlier announcement by Walmart that it intended to hire thousands of workers for its new tech hubs in Atlanta and Toronto.

Walmart shares closed lower for the fourth time in the past ten trading sessions in New York on Wednesday. The stock went down 0.29% ($0.43) to $145.35, after touching an intraday high at $146.94. The latter has been a price level not seen since November 26th ($147.88).

Shares of Walmart Inc have risen 0.46% so far in 2022 compared with an 8.56% loss for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2021, Walmart’s stock went up 0.37%, thus, it underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 26.89% gain.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to TipRanks, at least 17 out of 24 surveyed investment analysts had rated Walmart Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 7 – as “Hold”. The median price target on the stock stands at $163.48.

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