Walmart stock rises on Evercore ISI upgrade – Yahoo Money

Yahoo Finance Live anchors Julie Hyman and Brad Smith discuss Evercore ISI’s Outperform rating on Walmart stock.
BRAD SMITH: Also want to talk about another call here on the Street. Walmart receiving a rating upgrade from Evercore ISI. The firm bumping its rating on the retail giant from in-line to outperform, citing Walmart’s traffic and margin’s position for upside over the next two years.
Take a look at shares here on the day for WMT. You’re seeing them up by about 1 and 1/2%. And I think there are a few trends and quite economically cyclical that you can point to within Walmart, as well. And it’s how the consumer engages with the brand like Walmart, whether that be on the grocery division or just some of the other discretionary divisions where Walmart has had to adjust some of its own inventory levels and be able to navigate this near term.
But there’s still this type of mindset or spending reversion that Walmart is a beneficiary of in times where there is more economic pressure where consumers will say, OK, yeah, I’ll just go get everything from Walmart or use that as my own kind of discretionary spending hedge, as well. I do this myself. They’ve got great golf shorts for like $16 bucks.
JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, although, it’s interesting here, this call seems to have less to do with the macro environment and more to do with the work that the management has done. And the first line of it is, “It’s time,” of this note from Greg Melich. That basically they say– he says, quote, “Management’s diligent work to pivot the business to omnichannel, divest noncore assets, and invest in productivity has positioned traffic and margins for upside over the next two years.”
And he is talking about consumers making what he calls “wallet allocation choices.” So there is that. But I think the call here is that management has well-positioned the company to take advantage of that. It’s not just sort of the secular Walmart idea but that there are some specific things that they’ve been doing, which is kind of interesting here.
They also talk about strength in Sam’s Club, in particular, that that company has been building momentum. And that the international portfolio is relatively strong, as well.
BRAD SMITH: Yeah, in terms of cyclical defensiveness as well, in ’07 they said they remember buying all the Walmart that they wanted at 14x just before the stock outperformed and rerated to a big premium versus the S&P 500. So that part of their bullish sentiment that they have appended to Walmart here on the day. And shares reacting.
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