Wal-Mart increases stake in China's JD.com

Wal-Mart has struggled over the years to adapt its stores to meet Chinese consumers' tastes and compete with local e-commerce and online grocery providers. The sale of Yihaodian to JD earned Wal-Mart a 5% equity stake in JD. Industry experts had expected Walmart to have just eight warehouses by the end of 2018. The announcement on Thursday accompanied strategic plans to recover from the expected slow-down in revenue growth over the next few years, in addition to accelerating the pace of remodeling existing stores.

"This company, over time, is going to look like more of an e-commerce company", Doug McMillon, Walmart's chief executive, said at an event at corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

"Some of you've asked, why we don't open more Neighborhood Markets". "Having said that, choosing to race with Amazon is different than catching up with them".

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT)'s earnings per share growth ratio for the past 5 years was noted as 1.8% while revenue increase for the past 5 years was 2.7%. Piershale Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.6% in the second quarter. Wal-Mart also will market Walmart.com more aggressively, he said.

The world's largest retailer completed its more than $3 billion buyout of the fast-growing online retailer Jet.com last month, showing how heavily it's willing to invest to boost online sales that totaled $13.7 billion a year ago - still just a fraction of its annual revenue.

Wall Street renowned brokerages following Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores is attempting to tighten its grip on its position as the world's largest retailer by making a significant investment in its e-commerce operations.

The ten warehouses are created to boost its overall distribution capabilities, which consists of smaller online warehouses, stores that stock online orders and 160 store serving distribution centers that stock online items.

These initiatives should help the company reach more shoppers and deliver goods faster.

Inside Wal-Mart's 1.2 million square-foot warehouse in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, two 40-foot robotic towers shuttle products like Cheerio's from storage to packaging.

"So we will be thoughtful about expense control and be more productive across the business".

"While we think it's still early yet, we believe that Walmart's big upfront spend to grow online, among other steps in recent months, is showing early signs of promise", Moody's said in a research note. That's why it has not yet begun to promise one-day delivery to customers, he said.

Walmart also reiterated its 2017 earnings-per-share expectations of $4.29 to $4.49 and projected that capital expenditures would decline from $11.5 billion in 2016 to $11 billion in 2017 and 2018. But that's not to say Wal-Mart has given up on the digital front - in fact, far from it.

Wal-Mart, which has $11.7 billion remaining on its $20 billion share buyback, said it anticipates completing the program around the end of fiscal 2018.

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