Walmart (WMT - Free Report) closed at $96.97 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.8% move from the prior day. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.29%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 1.49%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 1.46%.
Heading into today, shares of the world's largest retailer had gained 1.32% over the past month, lagging the Retail-Wholesale sector's gain of 2.37% and the S&P 500's gain of 4.57% in that time.
Investors will be hoping for strength from WMT as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 19, 2019. The company is expected to report EPS of $1.33, unchanged from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $139.30 billion, up 2.23% from the year-ago period.
Any recent changes to analyst estimates for WMT should also be noted by investors. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.
Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. 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, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.2% higher within the past month. WMT is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
In terms of valuation, WMT is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 20.38. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 16.37, which means WMT is trading at a premium to the group.
It is also worth noting that WMT currently has a PEG ratio of 4. 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. WMT's industry had an average PEG ratio of 1.63 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 43, which puts it in the top 17% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual 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.
You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.