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Wal-Mart: A Case Study

Laura Bowen, Tatyana Budnikova, Ekaterina Mehaffey, and John Paul Robson

The University of Colorado at Denver

BUSN 6620 – Applied Managerial Economics

Professor Barbara Pelter

November 16, 2009

Overview of Industry

Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart discount store in Rogers Arkansas back in 1962, and 47

years later, Wal-Mart operates 8,159 units in 15 countries. Wal-Mart is currently the world’s largest

retailer and according to the Forbes top 500 businesses lists for 2009, Wal-Mart ranks second in the

nation and third in the world (behind Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil) - with a total annual sales of

405,607 million.¹ Wal-Mart employs over 2.1 million people worldwide, making them one of the largest

private employers in both the US and Canada, and the largest private employer in Mexico.² Even in the

midst of a recession it’s estimated that Wal-Mart stores’ retail market share has raised markedly³ and they

are seeing sales gains for 2009.4 Wal-Mart has a dramatic story of success from its humble beginnings to

its transformation into an industry leader; one can only wonder what the future holds for this corporate


Wal-Mart officially incorporated in 1969 and began selling shares of stock in 1970. In 1971 they

had their first 100 percent split at $47, then again the following year for $47.50 (after being listed on the

New York stock exchange). Their 11th and most recent 100 percent stock split occurred in 1999 at $95.5

One aspect of Wal-Mart’s structure that has given them a competitive edge is their efficiency in

logistics. Beginning in the early 1970’s, Wal-Mart utilized a warehouse distribution strategy facilitating

bulk purchasing and streamlined distribution processes enabling them to dramatically minimize

distribution costs. Today Wal-Mart has 147 distribution centers with the average facility serving 75-100

stores. Their truck fleet travels about 800 million miles a year and they move over 5.5 billion cases of

products. A Wal-Mart distribution center can have up to twelve miles of conveyor belts and about 500-

1,000 employees.2

Wal-Mart has also been able to gain competitive advantage with their embracement of

technology. In 1987, Wal-Mart completed a $24 million investment in a satellite network - the largest
private network at that time. This network included voice and video communication which streamlined

the company’s communication and facilitated the flow of sales and inventory information to the corporate

headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.6During a period of slower growth in the early 21st century, Wal-

Mart made substantial technology investments that were successful in gaining more inventory control and

improving company performance.

In addition to their technological competitive edge, Wal-Mart continues to make smart strategic

decisions to exploit potential new revenue sources as they continually to expand into new markets. Wal-

Mart opened their first Sam’s Wholesale Club in 1983 marking the inception of Wal-Mart’s second

division of operations which now consists of over 700 stores. Later, Wal-Mart devised and opened the

first Wal-Mart Super center in 1988. Wal-Mart Supercenters include the normal discount retail store and

many extras. They include a complete super-market, garden center, pet shop, pharmacy, tire and lube

express, optical center, photo processing center, and some additional smaller shops ranging from hair,

nail, video, and fast-food outlets. Today there are over 2,700 supercenters in the US. By 1998 they

introduced the Neighborhood market concept which catapulted them into becoming the largest US food

retailer by 2001.2

By 1991, Wal-Mart began its international expansion with the introduction of its first store into

Mexico. Two years later they formed Wal-Mart International - their rapidly growing third division.

Today, Wal-Mart has a total of 3,859 international locations and operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada,

Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto

Rico, the United States and the United Kingdom.2 Wal-Mart is now planning on expanding their

operations in Brazil and China even further.4

Some innovative products and programs Wal-Mart has created have contributed to their

popularity and profitability. “Sam’s Choice” marked the launch of the first Wal-Mart brand product in

1991 (7), and today Wal-Mart has over 30 different product lines encompassing an astounding variety of
products in food, apparel, homeliness and hard lines.2 In 2006, Wal-Mart began its $4 generic

prescription program - an astounding savings from the $29 average price of generic prescription drugs.8

Wal-Mart began its site to store program in 2007 which offers free shipping to a local store for purchases

on their website walmart.com.9

Wal-Mart’s signage and logo have recently evolved; in 2007 they revised their long time slogan

”Always Low Prices, Always” with the current “Save Money Live Better” motto and in 2008 they

unveiled a new company logo using an unhyphenated “Walmart” with stylized yellow “spark.” Wal-Mart

has been updating many of their store layouts and they are increasing the pace of their remodels in the

next year.4

This year, Wal-Mart has rolled out plans for a National wireless service3 and has announced plans

for providing consumer electronics support and installation services which would compete with Best

Buy’s “Geek Squad”.3 CEO Raul Vasquez said last month that they want to become the biggest and most

valued online retailer which suggests plans for Walmart.com expansion3 and that could cause some

concern at Amazon.com.

Walmart’s three Basic Belief’s and Values are: “Respect for the individual, Service to our

customers, and Striving for Excellence.” These long-standing belief’s haven’t stopped them from

becoming the source of some controversy and damaging press over the past decade including

involvement in multiple lawsuits involving questionable business practices. Notably, there have been

multiple allegations of sexual discriminatory practices and cases involving unpaid wages.10 In 2006 a

controversial movie debuted, “Wal-Mart, the high cost of low price.” This movie highlighted the various

recent lawsuits and pointed to the effects of Wal-Mart’s alleged low wages on the usage of public

assistance by Wal-Mart employees - stating that Wal-Mart is costing taxpayers over 1.5 billion dollars to

support its employees.10 Currently, Wal-Mart is spending millions of dollars each year to support and

improve its public image through public relations, media firms, and political consultants.11
To achieve a greater understanding of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., it is important to analyze the

industry, market structure, and supply and demand conditions affecting Wal-Mart, and by examining their

past financial performance we might offer a glimpse as to what one should expect in their future

performance as a company.

Market Structure

We all know Wal-Mart, the industry giant that often headlines the news with jaw breaking prices

that out-perform other retailers in the industry. It is important to discuss the industry structure to truly

understand the Wal-Mart edge and authority in the retail/electronic and consumer industries. Wal-Mart

accounts for 29.9% of the global general merchandise stores sector, Target, Wal-Mart’s industry

counterpart accounts for a mere 5.10%.12 (Exhibit 1) Shortly after entering the grocery business, Wal-

Mart now accounts for 10% of the grocery market. It is predicted by some that Wal-Mart will soon hold

the top spot of the grocery chain, leading by 16.6% by 2010.12. Wal-Mart is the largest retail company in

the world; it successfully operates retail stores in various formats including supermarkets, discount stores

and neighborhood markets. By the end of January 2008, Wal-Mart had over 2,447 supercenters, 132

neighborhood markets and 591 Sam’s Club’s in the US alone. Internationally, it operates in Argentina,

Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico,

the UK and China.13 Wal-Mart has annual sales of $405,607.00M and employs 2,100,000 employees.14

Target currently operates 1,698 stores in 49 states. Target has annual sales of $64,948.00 M and employs

351,000 employees.15 K-Mart has annual sales of $16,219.00M and employs 8,500 employees. Based on

this data it is easily determined that Wal-Mart is the leading retailer trailed by Target and K-Mart.16 Wal-

Mart has a broad range of competition in the industry, particularly Target and K-Mart. All three stores

emerged in the early 1960’s following the success of grocery store chains. Interactive analysis of the three

giants has determined that Wal-Mart prefers to enter markets that consists of lower retail wages and more

households with vehicles and children but is more or less concerned with income wages. Target has the

exact opposite dimensions while K-Mart is more or less like Wal-Mart just less systematic. Wal-Mart
strength comes directly from its ability to weather competition to a greater extent than its rivals. 17 Even

as a monopolist, Target requires a substantially larger population than Wal-Mart to succeed, making its

campaign to overpower Wal-Mart virtually impossible. Wal-Mart can succeed over Target and K-Mart

even when entering their territory. Due to these findings, Wal-Mart can be deemed the ultimate player of

the industry. 12 Wal-Mart also operates a much greater percentage of Superstores (stores that feature deli’s

and grocery departments) and thus has a competitive advantage as a one stop shop over Target and K-

Mart. (Exhibit 2) However, it does need to be addressed that Wal-Mart services not only the merchandise

industry but also the electronics and grocery industry as well. Therefore, competitors also include

Grocery chains (King Soopers, Albertsons and Safeway in Colorado), as well as Electronics Superstores.

Another unlikely competitor of Wal-Mart is Costco (the counterpart to Sam’s Club which the Wal-Mart

corporation runs). Costco operates as a wholesaler, and ultimately offers the same products as Wal-Mart

just in bigger quantities and perhaps greater quality. The important thing to note here is that consumers

may not wish to purchase all merchandise in bulk. Nonetheless, Costco holds a 25.90B market cap as

compared to Wal-Mart’s 197.66B.18 By providing merchandise, electronics and groceries, Wal-Mart

offers a one stop shop that often exhibits lower prices than the leading grocery, electronics and retail

stores. Because of this attribute Wal-Mart exhibits fierce competition to not only its industry rivals but

also local chains that offer one type of product (King Soopers for groceries or Best Buy for electronics).

Based on these observations, it can be determined that Wal-Mart is an Oligopoly. The industry is

mostly dominated by Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Target. They all produce homogeneous or unique products

(clothing vs. electronics, ect). There are blockades to entry/or exit because these large corporations

dominate the industry in a way that makes it virtually impossible for any firm to penetrate the market.

There does exist an imperfect dissemination of information, buyers are not informed of cost, price and

product quality. And these firms do have opportunities for economic profits. While there are a few firms

in the industry, it can be deemed that Wal-Mart is the largest firm leading its industry. However, another

important factor to note is that while Wal-Mart sees competition in Target and K-Mart, their presence
does not severely impact Wal-Mart sales. In fact, both Target and K-Mart find markets in which a Wal-

Mart is present as unattractive. The effect experienced by Target as a result of Wal-Mart’s presence is

much larger than the converse. 15 It can be noted that for both Target and Kmart, the implied effect of a

Wal-Mart is more than twice the reverse effect of those firms on Wal-Mart.15 These findings would point

to the ideology that Wal-Mart is an Oligopoly that monopolizes the industry. Through its presence it

prevents entry into the market based on geographical location and Target as well as Kmart focuses on

locations where a Wal-Mart is not yet present.

Companies that operate in the merchandise industry offer a variety of product in order to appeal

to a number of consumer tastes and preferences. This type of diversity increases the customer base of

companies, while reducing overall buyer power. With this said suppliers will enter into contracts with

major players and reduce overall entry into the market.13 Supplier power here is strengthened in that

manufacturers and distributors are not generally “wholly reliant” on merchandise stores for their

revenues. Supplier power is weakened by the fact that players have a great deal of bargaining power. The

fall of tariffs, particularly in the US has allowed retailers to source goods produced in areas of low cost

labor, and for Wal-Mart has ultimately meant outsourcing directly to China. Wal-Mart has huge

economies of scale as they purchase quantities to supply all of their stores.12 The nature of the buyer

supplier relationship is often defined by the buyer’s power in the industry. Based on Wal-Mart’s large

size and huge demand for products, Wal-Mart dominates the buyer scene. Because of its sheer size and

extraordinary buying power, Wal-Mart is able to pressure suppliers in offering rock-bottom prices as

these suppliers depend on Wal-Mart for a high percentage of their sales.19 An example of this type of

relationship is the Dial Corporation Supplier, who sells 28% of its manufactured goods to Wal-Mart

annually. In order to replace Wal-Mart’s sales, it would have to double sales to its next nine customers in

order to eliminate Wal-Mart from its buyer list.19 Chairman of the Board of Wal-Mart and son of the

founder often defines the supplier relationship as “supplier-partners.” Walton also states that Wal-Mart

wants to offer good value to customer through low prices and therefore does not accept slotting fees,
display allowances or deal money from suppliers. Typically speaking, by shopping around for the lowest

bidder, Wal-Mart is able to pass along the deal breakers to consumers. Walton also contends that long-

term relationship sustainability with supplies is a practice that benefits small and medium sized supplies.20

Wal-Mart has the power, as an industry giant to either hurt or help the suppliers in their concessions. Past

data has determined that Wal-Mart’s suppliers that hold a small share of their respective markets do not

perform as well as other small share suppliers that do not identity Wal-Mart as a primary customer.21

However, large share suppliers perform much better when listing Wal-Mart as a primary customer. This

implies that suppliers have the power to benefit from the successes of Wal-Mart, rather than become

victims.18 Due to these supplier relationships Wal-Mart continues to dominate the global market, with its

transition to online retail; Wal-Mart now dominates internet commerce as well. Wal-Mart continues to

dominate the market, superseding the current economic situation that encompasses most nations.

Ultimately, Wal-Mart has become corporate America's recessionary resource in a time when it's most

needed. 22 Demand for Wal-Mart is analytical. It is deemed that over 200 million shoppers visit the Wal-

Mart US stores each year.23 They use over 60,000 suppliers and have 55+ countries in their network, the

demand for while Wal-Mart has made the company the largest company in the world.19 And because

Wal-Mart holds its position as a power buyer in the industry it is able to effectively and efficiently supply

the demand for its products, as the economy worsens, more individuals turn to money saving deals and

thus to Wal-Mart. Net sales are on a gradual increase ($344,759 in 2007, $374,307 in 2008 and $401,244

in 2009 in millions)24 and therefore demand is also on the rise. Wal-Mart is able to meet demand with its

abundant supply of merchandise that they are able to obtain at low prices due to their supplier

relationships. By overpowering the suppliers in this industry, Wal-Mart has a competitive edge that is

unattainable by most companies. This can be related back to the discussion of Wal-Mart holding a

monopoly over the industry. Because they are able to maintain discretion over suppliers they can virtually

control the market and create entry barriers. Therefore, Wal-Mart is able to meet demand as it comes up

and has outsourced suppliers to China and India, where labor is much cheaper. Unfortunately, this also
makes Wal-Mart susceptible to currency changes, ie; the value of the dollar drops as compared to Chinese

Yuan, when the dollar weakness as compared to the Yuan, the price of imports rises for Wal-Mart.19

Foreign competition is prevalent for Wal-Mart particularly since their entry into foreign lands

with both retail and grocery chains. Wal-Mart has three major foreign competitors; Wal-Mart's major

international competitors are Britain's Tesco, France's Carrefour, and Germany's Metro, all three

companies have a strong presence in China, Wal-Mart’s top supplier.19 Tesco, has annual sales of

$98,327.00M and employs 470,000 employees. It was founded in 1924, roughly 40 years before Wal-

Mart made its debut.14 Carrefour has annual sales of $124,353.00M and employs 490,000 employees. It

was founded in 1965 and therefore has the same senior standing as Wal-Mart.26 Metro has annual sales of

$10,153.60 and employs 281,455 employees. It was founded in 1879 and has the senior standing of the

three foreign companies.27 With these competitors in tow and with their selling power it goes to show that

Wal-Mart will not monopolize foreign territory. In order to truly understand the foreign market we must

also discuss the entry and exit of Wal-Mart on other foreign soils. Wal-Mart entered the United Kingdom

in 1999 through its take-over of Britain’s third largest retailer, Asda. Through its entry into the foreign

market Wal-Mart inevitably exerted downward pressure on market forces and therefore, on market

price.28 Wal-Mart also has supplier benefits in foreign territory, as a leading industry giant and therefore

poses as a threat to local competitors, in terms of supplier relations.23 Unfortunately, Wal-Mart was not so

lucky in the South Korean market. Wal-Mart ventured onto South Korea’s soil in the late 1990s in hopes

of further expanding territory and revenue. Wal-Mart left South Korea in 2005 as the American way of

doing marketing did not translate well in Korea.29 Korean consumers had significantly different tastes and

preferences than American consumer and the everyday low price concept did not translate well in Korean.

Wal-Mart’s competitive advantage of low cost and low price was not suitable for the Korean market and

consumption context.24 The case here shows that even Wal-Mart is susceptible to competition, more so in

the foreign markets. The same situation presented in Japan. We also need to discuss Wal-Mart’s entry

into foreign markets with grocery ventures. Wal-Mart entered the German market through acquisition,
which proved unsuccessful because of the problems associated with integrating two disparate chains with

different organizational cultures and a different variety of stores.30 The highly competitive atmosphere

present in the German grocery market has precluded Wal-Mart from reaching its full value chain goals

and from realizing a key element of its global strategy, which is everyday low prices concept.25 The

countries discounters maintain a competitive advantage over the Wal-Mart name and thus strive in

environments that Wal-Mart has chosen to enter on their soil. As discussed earlier, Wal-Mart was much

more successful in the UK with its acquisition of Asda. This was good strategic fit for the company and

the UK has embraced aspects of the Wal-Mart retail proposition and corporate culture, prior to the 1999

acquisition.25 The entry of Wal-Mart has restructured the UK grocery market with low prices and value

for the consumer’s money.25 It can be seen through these examples that in some instances Wal-Mart not

had the same successes it exhibits here in the US. Some cultures embrace Wal-Mart for value savings

deals and one stop shop appeal, other cultures repeal the giant for the same reasons. In the future, it would

be in Wal-Mart’s best interest to research the cultural aspects of the territory prior to making its official

launch onto foreign land.

One issue facing Wal-Mart today is that the consumer’s opinions, needs and goals are ultimately

changing. The lowest price is no longer the only demand to attract consumers. Wal-Mart is now

encountering problems that have long plagued its rivals such as Kmart; clustered stores, unattractive

merchandise and ultimately poor service are just a few of the problems. Target, which is significantly

smaller, is able to unionize the store in such a way that the aisles are attractive and organized for

consumers. Wal-Mart is failing to bring in products that attract today’s consumers, particularly in apparel,

home furnishings and consumer electronics, while Target is bringing designers into the apparel

department to attract higher income consumers. The current economy has also hurt the Wal-Mart stores.

With rising gas prices and job uncertainty, lower income consumers are spending less on average.31

Employee and consumer morale for the Wal-Mart brand is not as high as it once was because Wal-Mart

has had to defend itself from unions and community activist groups. These groups contend that Wal-Mart
takes advantage of workers and hampers competition.31 Wal-Mart has also found itself in highly

publicized lawsuits, some of which contended that underage workers operate dangerous machinery and

others that the cleaning contractors had hired illegal immigrants.31 Another major issue facing Wal-Mart is

the continued allegations of gender discrimination.31 Another issue currently facing Wal-Mart, as

mentioned earlier, is its high dependence on Chinese suppliers. This makes Wal-Mart susceptible to

currency changes and ultimately price uncertainty. This goes hand in hand with the ideology that because

Wal-Mart is so dependent on foreign suppliers, it is also susceptible to tariffs and taxes on foreign

imports. If taxes are increased, price increases will be turned over to the consumers.

Wal-Mart has taken over America. With its financial and structural standing in the

consumer community, Wal-Mart has taken the industry by storm. Its history and current standing with

suppliers, consumers and competitors Wal-Mart leads both intellectually and financially. The following is

a discussion of Wal-Mart’s financial status.

Wal-Mart’s Financial Performance for the last 5 years


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is the world’s largest retailer by sales and in the U. S. it is

responsible for 7.5% and 21% of consumer’s total annual expenditures on retail goods and groceries,

respectively. 32

In 2008 Wal-Mart’s sales revenue was almost 406 billion dollars. Wal-Mart has a strong

reputation as a discount store, providing merchandise and services at every day low prices (“EDLP”). The

biggest chunks of Wal-Mart’s revenue are groceries, health and beauty products and Wal-Mart’s mark-

ups are small. Therefore, Wal-Mart is driving its high sales numbers by encouraging consumers to buy

from them due to low prices.

In 2008 Wal-Mart ranked #2 in Fortune 500; previous year ranking was #1. 33

Wal-Mart may have fallen to second place, but with credit-crunched consumers looking for

bargains, Wal-Mart has emerged as a rare recession buster while consistently growing same store sales at

the expense of Target and other higher priced rivals.

Wal-Mart earned 401.2 billion in revenue during 2009 (Wal-Mart recognizes its fiscal year as the

12 month period ending January 31), a 7.2% increase from 2008. Wal-Mart has 3,000 stores in

international markets where the average annual growth rate has been around 30% between 2005 and

2009. 34

Wal-Mart stores segment (domestic stores), is responsible for 63.7% of revenues and 79.6% of

operating income in 2009. During 2009, Wal-Mart stores enjoyed a 3.5% increase in store sales compared
to 1.6% growth in 2008, 2% in 2007, 3.4% in 2006 and 3.3% in 2005. The slowdown in 2008 spending

can be attributed to the economic slowdown.

Sam’s Club is responsible for 11.7% of revenues and 7.4% of operating income in 2009. Sam’s

Club generated 46.8 billion in total sales during fiscal year 2009 which represents a 5.6% increase from


Wal-Mart’s international segment is responsible for 24.6% of revenues and 21.7% of operating

income in 2009. Wal-Mart International generated 98.6 billion in revenues in 2009 which represents 9.1%

increase from 2008.

Furthermore, in fiscal year 2009 Wal-Mart’s sales were 401.2 billion which represents a 43%

increase since 2005. The increase in revenues is attributed to global store expansion as well as positive

annual comparable store sales growth for the last 10 years. In 2009 Wal-Mart had 23.7% gross margin, up

slightly from 23.5% in 2008 and 23.4% in 2007.

Essential ratio analysis

Current ratio measures a company’s ability to pay current debts as they become due and equals

to current assets divided by current liabilities. Wal-Mart’s current ratio is relatively low and it is due to

high current liability amounts. The number is around 0.88-0.9 and it did not fluctuate much in the five

year period presented for analysis.

Acid-test ratio equals quick assets divided by current liabilities. It is relatively low ratio that is

around 0.16-0.2 due to high accounts payable, commercial paper and long-term debt due within one year.

Debt ratio is total liabilities divided by total assets. Wal-Mart’s debt ratio has been around 60%

because of the high amount of long-term debt. Shareholder’s equity is increasing which might indicate a

positive outlook for the future; commercial paper amounts have been decreasing and will be eliminated

by 2011.

ROI is return on investment and is calculated by dividing net income by average total assets.

Average ROI is 8-12%. Wal-Mart’s ROI has been steady and around 8%.

ROE is return on equity and it is equal to net income divided by average owner’s equity. Wal-

Mart’s ROE is around 20 % in the five year period presented for analysis. Average ROE for American

companies is around 10-15%.

Profit Margin is the amount of profit earned per dollar of sales. Wal-Mart’s profit margins in the

last five years have been a little over 3%.

Net income has been increasing steadily although it slowed a little in 2008 and that can be

attributed to a global economic slowdown.

The ability of the company to pay its creditors, times interest earned, has decreased slightly

since fiscal year 2005. The main reasons are the company’s increased amounts of long term debt and

increased interest associated with it. The times interest earned has decreased from 14.6 in 2005 to 11.1 in


The number of a days sales in accounts receivable indicates that the numbers overall are very

good. Accounts receivable settle quickly because Wal-Mart’s customers use credit cards to make

NDS in inventory has declined since 2005 and is an indication of better inventory management.

Wal-Mart has to maintain high inventory levels to be able to provide a wide range of goods to its


Property, plant and equipment turnover has not fluctuated much. Sales have been steadily

increasing in the last five years, so did the average property and equipment. Wal-Mart requires many

locations, distribution centers and transportation equipment for success of its business.

Earnings per share (EPS) are generally considered to be the single most important variable in

determining a share's price. Wal-Mart’s EPS has been growing steadily in the last 5 years as did its stock

price. Wal-Mart’s EPS increased from 2.46 in 2005 to 3.35 in 2009.

Cash Flow

Cash flow from operations has been steadily increasing in the five year period provided for

analysis. In all five years presented cash flow from operations has exceeded net income. Wal-Mart has

been investing in international operations and the amounts invested are increasing steadily while making

payments for property, equipment, etc. Net cash used in investing activities has decreased since 2008. The

amounts of cash used in financing activity have been increasing steadily in the time frame presented but

Wal-Mart has decreased commercial paper amounts, paying of long term debt, paying dividends and has a

large stock repurchase program.

Although we see net decrease in cash and cash equivalents in fiscal 2008 (2,198 million), which

was mostly due to large amounts spent on the stock repurchase and payment of long-term debt, cash and

cash equivalents amounts are positive at the end of each of the five years presented for analysis.

"As goes General Motors, so goes the nation," was the old adage followed by investors.

That could easily be replaced now by "As goes Wal-Mart (WMT), so goes the nation."36

Now when almost every neighborhood has a Wal-Mart or two, the company has to get

more creative in finding ways to reach new markets and new customers. When a company

gets this massive, it becomes increasingly difficult to grow.

Wal-Mart foresees sales increases of 1% to 2% this fiscal year, lower than its prior 5%

to 7% forecast. Analysts expected revenue to be up 1.1% over that same period.

But the company expects a more robust 4% to 6% growth next year. Wal-Mart also

said it plans to boost its square footage growth rate to 4% this fiscal year and next.

In 2009 75% of new stores are being opened outside the United States. The most growth

occurred in Mexico, China and Central America. About 76% of Wal-Mart’s planned stores for

2010 will be outside the United States.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is a large-cap value company in the consumer services sector. The

term “large-cap” is used by the investment community to refer to companies with a market

capitalization value of more than $10 billion. Large cap is an abbreviation of the term "large

market capitalization". Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the number of a

company's shares outstanding by its stock price per share. Wal-Mart’s stock is expected to

outperform the market over the next six months with very low risk. 37

Wal-Mart purchases approximately $27 billion of its inventory directly from China

every year. 38 As a result of its dependency on Chinese manufacturing, Wal-Mart is vulnerable

to fluctuations in the value of the dollar compared to the Chinese Yuan. If the dollar weakens

compared to Yuan, the price of Wal-Mart’s Chinese imports will rise. Therefore Wal-Mart
would either have to raise its prices or would have to settle for narrower gross margins which

would reduce its profitability.

Wal-Mart is faced with considerable pressure from number of politicians, labor groups,

and lawsuits attacking the company on issues such as employee wages, benefits,

discrimination and negatively impacting communities and small businesses. These actions

affect Wal-Mart’s reputation, which in turn could affect Wal-Mart’s ability to expand into

new areas or attract new customers. 39

Wal-Mart has enjoyed steady growth in the last 5 years. All financial ratios didn’t fluctuate much

and the 2008 recession changed everything. Wal-Mart’s competitors such as Target and K-Mart have

declining sales making 2008 the hardest year for those retailers so far. On the other hand, Wal-Mart’s

sales are increasing. Wal-Mart's 2008 bottom line rose 5.9% to $ 13.5 billion while Target and K-Mart

have been getting trounced.

Wal-Mart has an insatiable appetite for growth and although the company is faced with numerous

challenges and pressures, we believe that the company will thrive.

Appendix 1

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2

Appendix 2

We thought this video has a lot of interesting information:



Five-Year Financial Summary

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

(Dollar amounts in millions except

ratios and per share data)

Fiscal Year Ended January 31, 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005

Operating Results

$401,2 $374,3 $344,7 $308,9 $281,4

Net sales 44 07 59 45 88

Net sales increase 7.2% 8.6% 11.6% 9.8% 11.4%

Comparable store sales increase

in the United States (1) 3.5% 1.6% 2.0% 3.4% 3.3%

$306,1 $286,3 $263,9 $237,6 $216,8

Cost of sales 58 50 79 49 32

Operating, selling, general and

administrative expenses 76,651 70,174 63,892 55,724 50,178

Interest expense, net 1,900 1,794 1,529 1,180 980

Effective tax rate 34.2% 34.2% 33.5% 33.1% 34.2%

Income from continuing $13,25 $12,86 $12,18 $11,38 $10,48

operations 4 3 9 6 2

Net income 13,400 12,731 11,284 11,231 10,267

Per share of common stock:

Income from continuing

operations, diluted $3.35 $3.16 $2.92 $2.72 $2.46

Net income, diluted 3.39 3.13 2.71 2.68 2.41

Dividends 0.95 0.88 0.67 0.60 0.52

Financial Position
Current assets of continuing $48,75 $47,05 $46,48 $43,47 $37,91
operations 4 3 9 3 3

Inventories 34,511 35,159 33,667 31,910 29,419

Property, equipment and capital

lease assets, net 95,653 96,867 88,287 77,863 66,549

Total assets of continuing 163,23 162,54 150,65 135,75 117,13

operations 4 7 8 8 9

Current liabilities of continuing

operations 55,307 58,338 52,089 48,915 42,609

Long-term debt 31,349 29,799 27,222 26,429 20,087

Long-term obligations under

capital leases 3,200 3,603 3,513 3,667 3,073

Shareholders’ equity 65,285 64,608 61,573 53,171 49,396

Financial Ratios

Current ratio 0.9 0.8 0.9 0.9 0.9

Return on assets (2)

8.4% 8.5% 8.8% 9.3% 9.8%

Return on shareholders’ equity (3)

21.2% 21.0% 22.0% 22.8% 23.1%

Other Year-End Data

Walmart U.S. Segment

Discount stores in the United

States 891 971 1,075 1,209 1,353

Supercenters in the United

States 2,612 2,447 2,256 1,980 1,713

Neighborhood Markets in the

United States 153 132 112 100 85

International Segment

Units outside the United States 3,615 3,098 2,734 2,158 1,480

Sam's Club Segment

Sam’s Clubs in the United States 602 591 579 567 551

01/31/2009 01/31/2008 01/31/2007 01/31/2006 01/31/2005

Current ratio 0.88 0.82 0.9 0.89 0.89

Acid-test ratio 0.2 0.16 0.2 0.2 0.2

Debt ratio 0.6 0.6 0.59 0.61 0.59

01/31/2009 01/31/2008 01/31/2007 01/31/2006 01/31/2005

ROI (A) 8.1% 8.2% 7.8% 8.3% 8.7%

ROE 20.6% 20.2% 19.7% 21.5% 21.2%

NI Margin 3.3% 3.26% 3.4% 3.4% 3.41%

Times Interest Earned 11.1 11.95 12.5 13.2 14.6

01/31/2009 01/31/2008 01/31/2007 01/31/2006 01/31/2005

Number of days sales in A/R 3.5 3.5 2.97 3.1 2.98

Number of days sales in inventory 41.1 44.8 46.6 47 46.9

PPE Turnover 4.35 4.23 4.35 4.29 4.3

Income Statement

Financial data in U.S. Dollars

Values in Millions (Except for per share items)

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005

Period End Date 01/31/2009 01/31/2008 01/31/2007 01/31/2006 01/31/2005

Period Length 12 Months 12 Months 12 Months 12 Months 12 Months

Stmt Source 10-K 10-K 10-K 10-K 10-K

Stmt Source Date 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 03/27/2007 03/27/2007

Stmt Update Type Updated Restated Restated Restated Restated

Revenue 401,244.0 374,307.0 344,759.0 308,945.0 281,488.0

Other Revenue, Total 4,363.0 4,169.0 3,609.0 3,156.0 2,822.0

Total Revenue 405,607.0 378,476.0 348,368.0 312,101.0 284,310.0

Cost of Revenue, Total 306,158.0 286,350.0 263,979.0 237,649.0 216,832.0

Gross Profit 95,086.0 87,957.0 80,780.0 71,296.0 64,656.0

Selling/General/Administrative Expenses, 76,651.0 70,174.0 63,892.0 55,739.0 50,178.0


Research & Development 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Depreciation/Amortization 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Interest Expense (Income), Net Operating 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Unusual Expense (Income) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Other Operating Expenses, Total 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Operating Income 22,798.0 21,952.0 20,497.0 18,713.0 17,300.0

Interest Income (Expense), Net Non- 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


Gain (Loss) on Sale of Assets 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Other, Net 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Income Before Tax 20,898.0 20,158.0 18,968.0 17,535.0 16,320.0

Income Tax - Total 7,145.0 6,889.0 6,354.0 5,803.0 5,589.0

Income After Tax 13,753.0 13,269.0 12,614.0 11,732.0 10,731.0

Minority Interest -499.0 -406.0 -425.0 -324.0 -249.0

Equity In Affiliates 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

U.S. GAAP Adjustment 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Net Income Before Extra. Items 13,254.0 12,863.0 12,189.0 11,408.0 10,482.0

Total Extraordinary Items 146.0 -132.0 -905.0 -177.0 -215.0

Discontinued Operations

Net Income 13,400.0 12,731.0 11,284.0 11,231.0 10,267.0

Balance Sheet
Financial data in U.S. Dollars
Values in Millions (Except for per share items)

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005

Period End Date 01/31/2009 01/31/2008 01/31/2007 01/31/2006 01/31/2005

Stmt Source 10-K 10-K 10-K 10-K 10-K

Stmt Source Date 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 03/31/2008 03/27/2007 03/29/2006

Stmt Update Type Updated Reclassified Restated Reclassified Restated


Cash and Short Term 7,275.0 5,492.0 7,767.0 6,193.0 5,488.0


Cash & Equivalents

Total Receivables, Net 3,905.0 3,642.0 2,840.0 2,575.0 1,715.0

Accounts Receivable - Trade, Net

Total Inventory 34,511.0 35,159.0 33,685.0 31,910.0 29,762.0

Prepaid Expenses 3,063.0 2,760.0 2,690.0 2,468.0 1,889.0

Other Current Assets, 195.0 967.0 0.0 679.0 0.0


Total Current Assets 48,949.0 48,020.0 46,982.0 43,825.0 38,854.0

Property/Plant/Equipm 95,653.0 96,867.0 88,440.0 77,865.0 68,118.0

ent, Total - Net

Goodwill, Net 15,260.0 15,879.0 13,759.0 12,097.0 10,803.0

Intangibles, Net 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Long Term 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


Note Receivable - Long 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


Other Long Term 3,567.0 2,748.0 2,406.0 4,400.0 2,379.0

Assets, Total

Other Assets, Total 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Total Assets 163,429.0 163,514.0 151,587.0 138,187.0 120,154.0

Liabilities and



Accounts Payable 28,849.0 30,344.0 28,484.0 25,101.0 21,987.0

Payable/Accrued 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Accrued Expenses 18,112.0 15,725.0 14,675.0 13,274.0 12,120.0

Notes Payable/Short 1,506.0 5,040.0 2,570.0 3,754.0 3,812.0

Term Debt

Current Port. of LT 6,163.0 6,229.0 5,713.0 4,879.0 3,982.0

Debt/Capital Leases
Other Current 760.0 1,140.0 706.0 1,817.0 1,281.0

Liabilities, Total

Total Current 55,390.0 58,478.0 52,148.0 48,825.0 43,182.0


Total Long Term Debt 34,549.0 33,402.0 30,735.0 30,096.0 23,258.0

Long Term Debt

Capital Lease Obligations

Deferred Income Tax 6,014.0 5,087.0 4,971.0 4,501.0 2,978.0

Minority Interest 2,191.0 1,939.0 2,160.0 1,465.0 1,340.0

Other Liabilities, Total 0.0 0.0 0.0 129.0 0.0

Total Liabilities 98,144.0 98,906.0 90,014.0 85,016.0 70,758.0

Redeemable Preferred 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


Preferred Stock - Non 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Redeemable, Net

Common Stock 393.0 397.0 413.0 417.0 423.0

Additional Paid-In 3,920.0 3,028.0 2,834.0 2,596.0 2,425.0


Retained Earnings 63,660.0 57,319.0 55,818.0 49,105.0 43,854.0

(Accumulated Deficit)

Other Equity, Total -2,688.0 3,864.0 2,508.0 1,053.0 2,694.0

Total Equity 65,285.0 64,608.0 61,573.0 53,171.0 49,396.0

Total Liabilities & 163,429.0 163,514.0 151,587.0 138,187.0 120,154.0


Cash Flow

200 2008 2007 2006 2005


Period End Date 01/31/200 01/31/2008 01/31/2007 01/31/2006 01/31/2005

Period Length 12 12 Months 12 Months 12 Months 12 Months


Stmt Source 10-K 10-K 10-K 10-K 10-K

Stmt Source Date 04/01/200 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 03/31/2008 03/27/2007

Stmt Update Type Updated Reclassified Reclassified Restated Reclassified

Net Income/Starting Line 13,400.0 12,731.0 11,284.0 11,231.0 10,267.0

Depreciation/Depletion 6,739.0 6,317.0 5,459.0 4,645.0 4,185.0

Amortization 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Deferred Taxes 581.0 -8.0 89.0 -129.0 263.0

Non-Cash Items 1,122.0 1,042.0 2,171.0 688.0 468.0

Discontinued Operations

Other Non-Cash Items

Changes in Working Capital 1,305.0 560.0 1,232.0 1,806.0 -139.0

Accounts Receivable


Accounts Payable

Accrued Expenses

Cash from Operating Activities 23,147.0 20,642.0 20,235.0 18,241.0 15,044.0

Capital Expenditures -11,499.0 -14,937.0 -15,666.0 -14,530.0 -12,803.0

Purchase of Fixed Assets

Other Investing Cash Flow Items, Total 757.0 -733.0 1,203.0 344.0 452.0

Sale of Fixed Assets

Sale/Maturity of Investment

Other Investing Cash Flow

Cash from Investing Activities - -15,670.0 -14,463.0 -14,186.0 -12,351.0


Financing Cash Flow Items 267.0 -622.0 -510.0 -349.0 113.0

Other Financing Cash Flow

Total Cash Dividends Paid -3,746.0 -3,586.0 -2,802.0 -2,511.0 -2,214.0

Issuance (Retirement) of Stock, Net -3,521.0 -7,691.0 -1,718.0 -3,580.0 -4,549.0

Issuance (Retirement) of Debt, Net -2,918.0 4,477.0 -92.0 4,018.0 4,041.0

Cash from Financing Activities -9,918.0 -7,422.0 -5,122.0 -2,422.0 -2,609.0

Foreign Exchange Effects -781.0 252.0 97.0 -101.0 205.0

Net Change in Cash 1,706.0 -2,198.0 747.0 1,532.0 289.0

Income Statement - 10 Year Summary (in Millions)

Depreciatio EP

Sales EBIT n Total Net Income S Tax Rate (%)

401,244. 20,898. 3.

01/09 0 0 6,700.0 13,254.0 35 34.19

374,307. 20,158. 3.

01/08 0 0 6,300.0 12,863.0 16 34.18

01/07 344,759. 18,968. 5,500.0 12,189.0 2. 33.5

0 0 92

308,945. 17,535. 2.

01/06 0 0 4,645.0 11,408.0 72 33.09

281,488. 16,320. 2.

01/05 0 0 4,185.0 10,482.0 46 34.25

256,329. 14,193. 2.

01/04 0 0 3,852.0 8,861.0 03 36.06

229,616. 12,368. 1.

01/03 0 0 3,364.0 7,818.0 76 35.23

204,011. 10,396. 1.

01/02 0 0 2,700.0 6,448.0 44 36.22

191,329. 10,116. 1.

01/01 0 0 2,868.0 6,295.0 4 36.5

165,013. 1.

01/00 0 9,083.0 2,375.0 5,575.0 25 36.75

Balance Sheet - 10 Year Summary (in Millions)

Current Assets Current Liabilities Long Term Debt Shares Outstanding

01/09 163,429.0 98,144.0 34,549.0 3.9 Bil

01/08 163,514.0 98,906.0 33,402.0 4.0 Bil

01/07 151,587.0 90,014.0 30,735.0 4.1 Bil

01/06 138,187.0 85,016.0 30,096.0 4.2 Bil

01/05 120,154.0 70,758.0 23,258.0 4.2 Bil

01/04 105,405.0 61,782.0 20,099.0 4.3 Bil

01/03 94,808.0 55,347.0 19,597.0 4.4 Bil

01/02 83,527.0 48,425.0 18,732.0 4.5 Bil

01/01 78,130.0 46,787.0 15,655.0 4.5 Bil

01/00 70,349.0 44,515.0 16,674.0 4.5 Bil

Financial Condition

Comp Indus S&P

any try 500

0.68 0.68 0.91

Current Ratio 0.9 1.1 1.2

Quick Ratio 0.3 0.4 1.0

12.1 33.6 29.0

Leverage Ratio 2.5 2.5 3.5

Book 17.9
17.37 16.13
Value/Share 2

Wal Mart’s Investment Returns %

Comp Indus S&P

any try 500

Return On Equity 19.9 18.3 16.1

Return On Assets 8.2 7.5 6.2

Return On Capital 12.6 11.5 8.7

Return On Equity (5-Year

21.3 19.5 19.4

Return On Assets (5-Year

8.8 8.2 8.0

Return On Capital (5-Year

13.8 12.7 10.7

Wal Mart’s growth rates

Last 5 FY FY Next 5 10
Years 2010 2011 Years P/E

Compan +10.50 +4.60 +8.80 13.

y % % % 90

+12.4 +12.2 13.

Industry +7.10% +13.00%
0% 0% 90

+9.80 +28.8 19.

S&P 500 -2.70% NA
% 0% 10

10 year Summary

Book Value/ Debt/ Return on Equity Return on Assets Interest

Share Equity (%) (%) Coverage

$16.63 0.65 20.3 8.1 10.4

$16.26 0.69 19.9 7.9 10.4

$14.91 0.63 19.8 8.0 11.3

$12.77 0.73 21.5 8.3 13.2

$11.67 0.63 21.2 8.7 14.6

$10.12 0.61 20.3 8.4 15.1

$8.98 0.64 19.8 8.2 12.6

$7.88 0.62 18.4 7.7 8.6

$7.01 0.71 20.1 8.1 8.2

$5.80 0.85 21.6 7.9 9.9

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