There is no way to summarize Wal-Mart’s year in a few sentences but it did come into 2006 at about $46 and trades for just over $46 now. For a company that trades 16 billion shares a day, that is chasing your tail.
Wal-Mart did make it to over $51 a couple of months ago when it looked like it was going back to its roots by slashing prices for the holiday. Wall St. was looking for customers to stream back into the big-box stores, but other retailers like CostCo and Best Buy cut prices as well. Wal-Mart’s same-store sales for the last two months have been disappointing, and December looks no better.
Wal-Mart seems to be having success in China, but it exited Germany and South Korea. In one country and out the other.
Some analysts think that the company’s aggressive push into China and plans for expansion into Central and South America may offset a slowdown in the US.
Unfortunately for the company’s shareholders, not everyone is buying into the “new” Wal-Mart.
Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at [email protected]. He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.
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