Amazon and Wal-Mart Shares Both Up 14% in 2016

Print Email

They have been chasing one another toward the goal of being the top retailer in America, by one measure or another, for years. Based on stock price, the race is a tie this year. The share prices of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) are each up 14% in 2016.

Wal-Mart has allayed some of the fears that e-commerce will smother its growth. Same-store sales improvement runs a tepid percentage point or two higher. However, that is better than the erosion at several other retailers of size.

Wal-Mart also has increased its commitment to e-commerce via a buyout of online shopping company Jet.com for $3.3 billion. At the time, Bloomberg reported on the Jet.com acquisition:

“Wal-Mart has definitely put its stake in the ground saying, ‘We’re going to be winning in e-commerce,’” said Joseph Feldman, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group. “Amazon should be concerned about what Wal-Mart is doing.”

And Amazon is the largest e-commerce destination. However, Wal-Mart is massive. 24/7 Wall St. reported:

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the online retail company, sits next at 184 million unique visitors. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is well down the list in 22nd place, with 93 million unique visitors. It, and the revenue it gets online, show something of the wall that Wal-Mart has to climb.

Occasionally, Wall Street becomes dismayed with Amazon because it overspends to get market share. Anxiety about its customer acquisition costs has been a long-time theme and has hurt shares from time to time.

As an aside, Amazon’s market cap is $365 billion and Wal-Mart’s is $216 billion. Wal-Mart’s shares will need to outperform Amazon’s by a wide margin next year to show that investor confidence this year was warranted.

I'm interested in the Newsletter