Wal-Mart (WMT) Last Update 7/14/22
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TREFIS Analysis

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Potential upside & downside to trefis price

Wal-Mart Company


  1. Wal-Mart US constitutes 76% of the Trefis price estimate for Wal-Mart's stock.
  2. Wal-Mart International constitutes 17% of the Trefis price estimate for Wal-Mart's stock.


  1. Walmart Sees Mixed Q1 Report
Walmart's revenue rose 2.4% year-over-year (y-o-y) to $141.6 billion in its fiscal 2023 first quarter. The gains were driven by a 3% rise in the retailer's U.S. comparable-store sales (excluding fuel) and a 10.2% jump in its Sam's Club comps. Walmart's international net sales, however, decreased by 13% y-o-y. The decline was largely due to the company's sale of its operations in the U.K. and Japan in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 last year. More concerning was the decline in Walmart's profitability. Its gross margin decreased by 87 basis points, due in part to higher supply chain costs. Higher labor costs further dented the company's operating margin. All told, Walmart's adjusted earnings per share declined by 23% to $1.30. That was below Wall Street's estimates, which had called for adjusted per-share profits of $1.48.

Note: Walmart's FY'22 ended on January 31, 2022. Q1 FY'23 refers to the quarter that ended on April 30, 2022.

  1. Cut in Guidance
The inflationary cost pressures prompted Walmart to cut its full-year profit forecast. Management now expects the company's operating income and earnings per share to decline by roughly 1% in fiscal 2023. Walmart had previously projected that its operating profits would grow by approximately 3%.


Below are key drivers of Wal-Mart's value that present opportunities for upside or downside to the current Trefis price estimate for Wal-Mart:

Wal-Mart U.S.

  • US Revenue per Square Foot:Going forward, we expect Wal-Mart's revenue per square foot to increase gradually from $559 currently to $616 by the end of our forecast period. However, there can be an upside of close to 5% if this figure ends up around $623 by the end of our forecast period driven by online growth and smaller store expansion. On the contrary, there can be a 5% downside to our price estimate if this figure only increases to $600 due to weak consumer confidence, a fall in foot traffic, and self-cannibalization.
  • The U.S. Number of Stores: We estimate the number of Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. to grow from about 4,742 in FY 2022 to about 4762 by the end of our forecast period. There can be a downside of approximately 5% to our price estimate if the store count decreased to only 4,710 in a situation where the company scales down its small store expansion.
  • U.S. Gross Margins: We estimate this figure to marginally increase from the current level of 27.1% to 28.9% by the end of our forecast period. There could be a downside of about 5% to our price estimate if rising input costs lead to a decline in margins to about 27.2% by the end of our forecast period. On the contrary, if the retailer keeps leveraging its huge buying power to get discounts from vendors, and margins reach 30%, there can be a 5% upside to our price estimate.

For additional details, select a driver above or select a division from the interactive Trefis split for Wal-Mart at the top of the page.


Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world with nearly $573 billion in annual revenues and over 10,593 stores worldwide. The company sells goods across almost all merchandise categories including groceries, electronics, appliances, apparel, sporting goods, home furnishing products, and drugs, while strictly adhering to its EDLP (everyday low price) strategy. However, it earns around half of its revenues from groceries.

Wal-Mart operates in three business segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam’s Club. Walmart U.S. segment is the largest segment of its business, accounting for approximately 60% of its revenues. Sam's Club is the retailer's warehouse model where it charges its customers an annual membership fee, allowing them to buy products at heavy discounts.


The U.S. segment is the most valuable to the company. Wal-Mart has built a trusted brand with a clear value proposition and has expanded across the U.S., resulting in it becoming the nation's largest retailer.

Wal-Mart U.S. stores are bigger and yield more revenue per unit of retail space

Although Wal-Mart has fewer stores in the U.S. compared to international markets, an average U.S. store is about 2.5 times as big as the international store in terms of retail square footage. As of fiscal 2021, square footage per store for Wal-Mart US was 148,200 while that for Wal-Mart International was 55,300. Revenue per square foot for Wal-Mart's U.S. stores in FY 2021 was higher at $484 versus $359 for Wal-Mart's International stores. Thus, despite being similar in store count, the U.S. segment is more valuable to the company compared to its international segment.


Threat of self-cannibalization due to massive size

Like any retailer, Wal-Mart’s long-term sales and income growth depend largely on the company’s ability to open new stores and expand into new markets. However, due to Wal-Mart’s size, it runs the risk of cannibalizing its own sales figures in the U.S., thereby effectively competing with itself for market share. This is the reason why Wal-Mart has slowed down its Supercenter expansion in the U.S.

Improving store productivity and smaller stores in urban markets

Opening more Supercenters and large format stores may be difficult for Wal-Mart due to its massive presence in the U.S. The company is, therefore, focusing efforts on increasing its store productivity. To achieve this, the retailer has been remodeling its stores and converting its discount stores into supercenters. While Wal-Mart’s discount stores offer a wide assortment of general merchandise and a limited variety of food products, its supercenters offer a full-line supermarket and general merchandise.

Wal-Mart’s executives have indicated that the retailer’s future stores will occupy 8% less space, cost 16% less and will run more efficiently. The retailer’s smaller stores, called Neighborhood market stores, are one-tenth the size of a typical Wal-Mart Supercenter and offers 15,000 items in comparison to 100,000 offered at a Supercenter. Although the size is much smaller, Neighborhood markets offer day-to-day groceries & general merchandise and are focused on attracting customers who shop regularly for their daily needs. This format can be successful in big cities, which have space constraints and where busy schedules limit many customers from driving to a supercenter.

Walmart Launches Its Own Loyalty Program

The retailer launched its loyalty program Walmart+ at $98/year by the end of 2020. This subscription is priced lower than the $119/year subscription of Amazon Prime. This service expands upon its existing same-day grocery delivery service, Delivery Unlimited - with discounts on fuel, early access to product deals, and other perks such as reserved delivery slots. By leveraging the company's advantages in grocery and its store base, the new service can boost sales, lock in a loyal customer base, and reward customers.