Dividend Aristocrats In Focus Part 54 Of 54: Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart (WMT) is the largest discount retailer in the world.  Wal-Mart is the 8th largest publicly traded US corporation. Wal-Mart is 4.3 times the size of Costco (COST) and 5.8 times the size of Target (TGT) based on market cap. Wal-Mart has generated 5.67 times the amount of revenue Amazon (AMZN) has over the past 12 months. Wal-Mart is the dominant force in discount retail.

The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962.  Sam Walton’s 6 heirs are worth an estimated $140 billion today; wealthier than Warren Buffett and Bill Gates combined. The scale of what Sam Walton accomplished is truly impressive, yet he is much less celebrated than other multi-billionaires like John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, or Warren Buffett.

Wal-Mart is the focus of the final installment of the 54 part Dividend Aristocrats In Focus series. The company’s massive operations, competitive advantage, and future growth prospects are analyzed below.

Business Overview

Wal-Mart operates a total of 11,156 stores on 5 continents (none in Australia or Antarctica). The company operates primarily under the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club names in the US.  In total, about 45% of the company’s stores are in the US.  Wal-Mart’s top 10 countries based on store count are listed below:

  • US: 4,987
  • Mexico : 2,226
  • United Kingdom: 584
  • Brazil: 557
  • Japan: 433
  • China: 401
  • Canada: 391
  • Chile: 388
  • South Africa: 352
  • Costa Rica: 216
  • Wal-Mart is geographically diversified, but it has its strongest presence in North America through its US, Mexico, and Canada operations. Together, these 3 countries account for 68% of Wal-Mart’s store count.

    Wal-Mart breaks its operations down into 3 segments:  Wal-Mart U.S., Wal-Mart International, and Sam’s Club.  The Wal-Mart U.S. segment is home to Wal-Mart’s non-Sam’s Club operations in the United States, as well as walmart.com. The Wal-Mart International segment includes all of the company’s non-U.S. operations, including websites.  The Sam’s Club segment includes all Sam’s Club operations in the US.  Wal-Mart has 195 Sam’s Club locations located outside the U.S. which are run by Wal-Mart International, not Sam’s Club.  The company’s operating profit for each segment through the first 9 months of Wal-Mart’s fiscal 2015 are shown below:

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    Author: Travis Esquivel

    Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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