Looking to invest in the stock market but concerned about economic uncertainty? Consider putting your money into Walmart stock – Walmart is a value-focused retail company that thrives in any market environment, one of the world’s most well-known and valuable brands.
In this guide, you’ll find an overview of the retail chain, learn how to buy Walmart stock, as well as get suggestions for the best brokers to use.
Intermediate Traders and Investors
What is Walmart?
The company was established in 1962 by brothers Sam and James “Bud” Walton in Rogers, Arkansas, and later incorporated under the Delaware General Corporation Law on October 31, 1969.
Walmart is the largest company in the world by revenue, with about $600 billion in annual revenue in 2022. In fact, for the fiscal year concluding on January 31, 2023, Walmart’s worldwide net sales reached $605.88 billion, as shown in the chart below, reflecting a growth of around 7% compared to the previous year.
The retail giant boasts more than 10,623 total units, of which 4,717 are across the US (as of January 31, 2023), serving approximately 240 million customers in 20 countries. Its operations comprise three segments: Walmart US, Walmart International, and Sam’s Club, with the US division bringing in around 69% (as of 2023) of Walmart’s net sales. The retailer is also the largest private employer in the world, with 2.3 million employees.
Notably, as illustrated in the chart below, Walmart was the fifth most valuable US brand globally, with a brand value of $113.78 billion in 2023. Based on the assumption that products with renowned brand names can generate a higher revenue than lesser-known counterparts, brand value directly impacts a company’s overall success and competitive edge. By influencing three critical stakeholder groups – customers, employees, and investors – strong brands like Walmart are able to sway customer choices and foster loyalty, attract and retain skilled talent, and reduce financing costs.
How to buy Walmart stock? Step-by-step
Public since 1972, Walmart trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker WMT and is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), S&P 100, and S&P 500.
Since Walmart is publicly traded, you can buy Walmart stock through a broker. The steps involved in purchasing Walmart shares are summarized in detail in the following section.
Buy stock directly from Walmart
Step 1: Choose a broker
To buy Walmart stock online, you’ll need a brokerage account. While several platforms are available, the one that suits you will depend on your investment style (long-term buy-and-hold strategy or active day trading) and needs (e.g., whether you want to trade more advanced financial products such as options). When assessing brokers, consider the following features:
- Fees: Brokerage fees are a type of fee collected by brokers to execute your transactions or provide specialized services. Fortunately, today, the vast majority of online brokers offer commission-free stock and exchange-traded funds (ETF) trading;
- Security: Pick a trustworthy broker by ensuring it is fully licensed by state regulatory authorities as well as FINRA and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
- Trading tools: Active traders may prefer brokerage accounts with all the bells and whistles. Some brokers offer fully customizable platforms with comprehensive analysis tools or access to additional data for an extra cost. If such additions are unnecessary for your purposes, avoid paying extra for them. It’s typically a good idea to look for a user-friendly platform with a competitive fee structure if you are new to stock trading. A dedicated section with investing tips and tricks is a bonus;
- Access to market data: You should search for a platform that allows access to solid market research and reporting tools to help you trade confidently with updated data;
- Fractional stock trading: Fractional shares allow investors to buy stock or ETFs by the dollar amount instead of the number of shares; especially helpful for investors who don’t have unlimited capital but want to build a diversified portfolio or are looking to set up a dollar-cost averaging strategy.
Where can I buy Walmart stock?
The stock market has become increasingly accessible and affordable, primarily due to the availability of numerous online brokers, making it possible to purchase Walmart stock with just a few clicks. Nevertheless, selecting the most suitable broker tailored to your specific needs, such as investment objectives, educational resources, and trading style, is crucial for a seamless and stress-free trading experience.
To securely invest in Walmart and buy WMT stock, consider these brokers:
- Commission-free stock trading;
- 2,000+ stocks from 17 exchanges;
- Fractional shares available;
- User-friendly platform.
Intermediate Traders and Investors
- Commission-free stock trading;
- Global stock-trading on 90+ market centers;
- Fractional shares available;
- Extra income on fully paid shares;
- Lowest financing rates for margin accounts in the industry;
- No account minimum.
Low cost investing
Step 2: Fund your account
Once you have decided on a broker, it’s time to fund your account. Remember, it can sometimes take up to three days for the money to reach your account.
Step 3: Research the company
When investing in the stock market, thorough research is essential. The best starting point for investigating a stock is examining its public filings with the SEC. Fortunately, as a publicly traded entity, Walmart’s quarterly (Form 10-Q) and annual (Form 10-K) earnings reports, SEC filings, shareholder presentations, ESG reports, and recent press releases can be conveniently accessed via their investor relations section.
Within these documents, you can uncover information about Walmart’s financial performance, future strategies, and challenges the company or the industry may face, such as a tight labor market, inflationary pressures, and supply chain disruptions.
After carefully considering both potential risks and rewards, determine if Walmart stock is a suitable addition to your investment portfolio.
Step 4: Decide how much you want to invest
Now that you’ve determined Walmart stock is a suitable investment for you, the next step is to decide the amount you wish to invest.
The sum you invest will depend on the stock price and the number of shares you intend to buy. If the share price of a stock you’re interested in is financially out of reach, consider looking into fractional shares. Fractional shares enable you to invest based on a dollar amount you’re comfortable with, resulting in you buying either less than a whole share, a whole share, or more than a whole share.
Since investing can yield unpredictable returns, it’s crucial to invest only what you can afford to lose and be conscious of your risk tolerance.
Step 5: Place your order and buy Walmart stock
After determining the number of shares or the dollar amount you want to invest, you can place your order. If you’re working with an advisor, inform them of your wish to buy Walmart stock and the amount you want to invest, and they’ll handle the transaction for you. Alternatively, if using a brokerage account, just log into your account and enter the ticker WMT in the search bar.
Several order execution options are typically available, including:
- Market order: A market order is an order to buy the stock at the current market price that is generally executed immediately (subject to availability);
- Limit order: A limit order is processed once the stock reaches your specified price. For example, imagine you want to buy Walmart stock at $150 or lower. You would then set the limit price at $150, and the order will only execute when the stock reaches the set price or lower;
- Options contract: Options speculation allows for leveraged positions in a security at a fraction of the cost of the underlying asset. A call option allows the trader to profit if the price of the stock increases, and a put option enables them to profit if the stock price declines. Remember, derivative instruments can only be traded on a margin account, which typically has higher minimum balance requirements than standard brokerage accounts.
As Walmart is listed on the NYSE, its trading hours run from Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. Depending on your brokerage, you might have access to extended trading hours before or after the standard trading times.
Consider investing in Walmart with index funds
Step 6: Monitor your investment
So, while the “set it and forget it” approach works well for a diversified ETF portfolio, single stocks – even a blue-chip stock like WMT – require periodic monitoring. One effective way to assess how your investment in WMT compares to the broader market is by contrasting its performance with a benchmark index, such as the S&P 500.
Additionally, keep an eye on press releases, company health indicators such as revenue and net income, retail industry performance (including factors that could affect it, like disruptions to global supply chains), and overall economic conditions.
Then, based on your financial objectives, use this information to reevaluate whether it’s best to hold onto the stock, readjust its allocation or sell it.
Walmart stock price today
Year to date (as of April 14, 2023), Walmart hasn’t fallen as sharply as the overall market. Nevertheless, the stock has declined by 4.83% during the past 12 months, compared to 5.61% for the S&P 500.
Should I buy Walmart stock?
In addition to examining Walmart’s fundamentals, technical analysis can also be employed to evaluate the company and detect trading opportunities by analyzing price trends and patterns seen on charts.
This gauge displays a real-time technical analysis overview for your specified timeframe. It can be a valuable technical analysis tool for many traders by simplifying trading decisions by demonstrating the real-time recommendations of popular technical indicators such as moving averages and oscillators.
Disclaimer: TradingView does not recommend trading financial instruments based exclusively on the advice of the Technical Rating indicator. These recommendations cannot predict future movements and are meant as assistance for spotting potentially favorable buy/sell conditions if this is consistent with their strategy.
Walmart dividend history
Walmart is a publicly traded company with a long record of paying dividends to its shareholders. You can find a complete Walmart dividend history on their website. Here is a brief overview of Walmart’s dividend history:
- Walmart paid its first quarterly dividend of $0.05 per share in March 1974;
- Walmart has increased its dividend yearly since 1974, except for the fiscal year 1975;
- Walmart’s dividend growth has been constant over the years, with annual increases ranging from 1% to 19%;
- As of the end of the fiscal year 2022 (which ended January 31, 2022), Walmart’s annual dividend payout was $2.24 per share, up from $2.16 in 2021;
- Walmart typically pays dividends quarterly, with payments made in January, April, July, and October of each year;
- As of April 2023, Walmart had paid a dividend within the past 12 months.
Please note that past performance does not guarantee future results and that dividend payouts can be subject to change based on a company’s financial performance and other factors. For example, despite historic stable growth, in July 2022, Walmart stock experienced a steep drop when Walmart’s stock price plummeted 9.86% amid inflation and lower consumer spending concerns.
Common mistakes to avoid when investing in stocks
Making mistakes is par for the course when it comes to investing in stocks, but there are ways to recognize and avoid them. For an in-depth guide on investing mistakes, we have compiled a list of 17 common mistakes and tips for preventing them. But, for now, here are some of the most typical ones to watch out for:
- Not performing your due diligence on the stock;
- Having unclear financial goals;
- Attempting to time the market;
- Failing to diversify;
- Letting your emotions rule the investment decision-making process.
How to sell Walmart stock?
You can sell Walmart stock if you see the company performing differently than expected or after reaching your desired financial goal.
If you’re working with an advisor, they can create a sale order for you. However, if you have your own broker account, simply log on, navigate to the stock’s detail page, input the number of shares or dollar amount you want to offload, and tap sell.
Keep in mind that selling for a profit will result in capital gains taxes. The applicable tax rate will depend on how long you hold the shares, so it’s advisable to consult a tax professional before altering your investment portfolio.
Pros and cons of buying Walmart stock
So, now that we’re familiar with Walmart and how to buy its stock, let’s explore the pros and cons of investing in it.
- Market leader: Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and has a significant market share, which provides a competitive advantage and a strong bargaining position with suppliers;
- Diversified product offerings: Walmart offers a wide variety of products, ranging from groceries to electronics, which helps them cater to diverse customer needs and reduces reliance on any single product category.
- Strong online presence: Walmart has been investing heavily in its e-commerce platform and has seen consistent growth in online sales – 12% and 23% on a two-year stack (as of February 21, 2023)- making it a strong competitor to other online retail giants;
- Global presence: Walmart operates in numerous countries, which allows it to capitalize on growth opportunities in international markets and mitigate risks associated with regional economic downturns;
- Stable dividends: Walmart is a dividend stock with an annual dividend yield of 1.53% (as of April 14, 2023), making it an attractive option for income-seeking investors;
- Discount product: This allows Walmart to profit in poor economic conditions as people tend to cut costs wherever possible when times are tough;
- Blue-chip stock: These large-cap stocks are as reliable as an equity investment can be;
- Solid financials: Walmart is the largest company by revenue worldwide, boasting 605.88 billion in revenue and a net income of $11.3 billion for the fiscal year ending January 2023.
- Intense competition: Walmart faces fierce competition from both brick-and-mortar retailers and online giants like Amazon, which could impact its market share and profitability;
- Sluggish growth: Net income has somewhat plateaued after the pandemic-induced boom;
- Regulatory challenges: As a global retailer, Walmart is subject to various local and international regulations, which could increase operational costs and impact profitability.
- Labor issues: With around 2.3 million employees globally, Walmart has encountered numerous lawsuits and workforce-related issues, including low wages, subpar working conditions, insufficient healthcare, and the company’s staunch anti-union stance;
- Supply chain disruptions: Walmart relies heavily on its supply chain to maintain its low-cost advantage. Disruptions caused by natural disasters, geopolitical tensions, or other unforeseen events could impact its operations and profitability.
To sum up, as with most investments, putting your money into Walmart is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, you’ve got this behemoth of a retailer, with a diverse product range and a growing online presence, that has proven it can weather all sorts of economic storms. Factor in a consistent track record of dishing out dividends, and you can see why income-seeking investors might be tempted.
On the flip side, though, there’s no shortage of potential pitfalls. A fiercely competitive retail environment, a minefield of regulations, and a workforce that has seen its fair share of issues are all factors that could weigh on Walmart’s bottom line. So, like any savvy investor, you’ll want to do your homework, gauge your risk appetite, and set clear investment goals before adding Walmart to your investment portfolio.
Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.
FAQs about Walmart
How much is Walmart stock?
Walmart stock currently (as of April 14, 2023) trades for $149,49.
What will Walmart's stock be in 10 years?
The performance of Walmart’s stock over the next ten years will depend on various factors, including market conditions, company performance, competition, and global economic trends. However, Walmart’s average annual return has been 14% for the past five years (as of April 14, 2023).
How to buy Walmart stock?
Walmart is a publicly traded company, and its stock is available on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol WMT, which means you can buy shares of Walmart through your brokerage account.
How do I sell my Walmart stock?
Offloading your Walmart stock is easy: Simply log on to your brokerage account, navigate to the stock’s detail page, input the number of shares or dollar amount you want to get rid of, and tap sell.