In the latest trading session, Walmart (WMT - Free Report) closed at $97.29, marking a -0.17% move from the previous day. This change was narrower than the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.22%. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.11%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.25%.
Coming into today, shares of the world's largest retailer had lost 2.81% in the past month. In that same time, the Retail-Wholesale sector gained 4.4%, while the S&P 500 gained 3.57%.
Investors will be hoping for strength from WMT as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 19, 2019. In that report, analysts expect WMT to post earnings of $1.32 per share. This would mark a year-over-year decline of 0.75%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $139.30 billion, up 2.23% from the year-ago period.
For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $4.80 per share and revenue of $514.62 billion, which would represent changes of +8.6% and +2.85%, respectively, from the prior year.
It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for WMT. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.
Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.
The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.85% higher. WMT is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
Investors should also note WMT's current valuation metrics, including its Forward P/E ratio of 20.3. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 16.38, which means WMT is trading at a premium to the group.
Investors should also note that WMT has a PEG ratio of 3.98 right now. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. The Retail - Supermarkets industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 2.16 as of yesterday's close.
The Retail - Supermarkets industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 191, which puts it in the bottom 26% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.
Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.