Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is scheduled to release its most recent quarterly results on Thursday before the markets open. The consensus estimates call for $1.01 in earnings per share (EPS) and $125.55 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.00 on $123.18 billion in revenue.
In early May, Walmart announced that it had agreed to pay $16 billion to acquire a stake of approximately 77% in Flipkart, India’s leading e-commerce company. Six months later, Flipkart’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Binny Bansal, is leaving the company following an internal investigation into an allegation of unspecified “serious personal misconduct.” Bansal has strongly denied the allegation.
In a statement Tuesday morning, Walmart and Flipkart said that Bansal had announced his resignation as CEO of Flipkart effective immediately. The two companies said that Bansal had been an “important part” of Flipkart, “but recent events risked becoming a distraction and Binny has made a decision to step down.”
Walmart covered its back somewhat by saying that Bansal had been “contemplating a transition for some time and we have been working together on a succession plan, which has now been accelerated.”
Lacking any specifics about either the allegation or the other lapses in judgment or the timing of either, it’s difficult to piece together what, if anything, Walmart knew about the original allegation against Bansal at the time it agreed to buy its controlling stake in Flipkart.
Walmart has outperformed the broad markets over the past 52 weeks, with its stock up 13% in that time. In just 2018 alone, the stock is up only 4%.
A few analysts weighed in on Walmart ahead of the report:
- Cowen has an Outperform rating with a $120 price target.
- Raymond James has a Buy rating and a $105 price target.
- Credit Suisse has a Neutral rating with a $103 price target.
- Goldman Sachs has a Neutral rating with a $100 target price.
- Guggenheim has a Buy rating with a $110 target price.
Shares of Walmart were last seen at $102.31, in a 52-week range of $81.78 to $109.98. The consensus analyst price target is $105.81.