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Wal-Mart Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection


ISIN: US9311421039 , WKN: 860853

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Description of the company

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ("Walmart," the "Company" or "we") helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores or through our e-commerce and mobile capabilities. Through innovation, we are striving to create a customer-centric experience that seamlessly integrates digital and physical shopping and saves time for our customers. Physical retail encompasses our brick and mortar presence in each market where we operate. Digital retail is comprised of our e-commerce websites and mobile commerce applications. Each week, we serve over 260 million customers who visit our 11,695 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries.


Our strategy is to lead on price, differentiate on access, be competitive on assortment and deliver a great experience. Leading on price is designed to earn the trust of our customers every day by providing a broad assortment of quality merchandise and services at everyday low prices ("EDLP"). EDLP is our pricing philosophy under which we price items at a low price every day so our customers trust that our prices will not change under frequent promotional activity. Price leadership is core to who we are. Everyday low cost ("EDLC") is our commitment to control expenses so those cost savings can be passed along to our customers. Our digital and physical presence provides customers access to our broad assortment anytime and anywhere. We strive to give our customers and members a great digital and physical shopping experience.


Our operations comprise three reportable segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club. Our fiscal year ends on January 31 for our United States ("U.S.") and Canadian operations. We consolidate all other operations generally using a one-month lag and on a calendar basis. Our discussion is as of and for the fiscal years ended January 31, 2017 ("fiscal 2017"), January 31, 2016 ("fiscal 2016") and January 31, 2015 ("fiscal 2015"). During fiscal 2017, we generated total revenues of $485.9 billion, which was primarily comprised of net sales of $481.3 billion.


We maintain our principal offices at 702 S.W. 8th Street, Bentonville, Arkansas 72716, USA. Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WMT."


The Development of Our Company

Although Walmart was incorporated in Delaware in October 1969, the businesses conducted by our founders began in 1945 when Sam M. Walton opened a franchise Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas. In 1946, his brother, James L. Walton, opened a similar store in Versailles, Missouri. Until 1962, our founders' business was devoted entirely to the operation of variety stores. In that year, the first Wal-Mart Discount City, which was a discount store, opened in Rogers, Arkansas. In 1983, we opened our first Sam's Club, and in 1988, we opened our first supercenter. In 1998, we opened our first Neighborhood Market.


In 1991, we began our first international initiative when we entered into a joint venture in Mexico. Since then, our international presence has expanded and, as of January 31, 2017, our Walmart International segment conducted business in 27 countries.


In 2000, we began our first digital initiative by creating the retail website. Since then, our digital presence has continued to grow. As of January 31, 2017, we operated e-commerce websites in 11 countries, providing access to Walmart and our various brands around the world.


Information About Our Segments

The Company is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units located throughout the U.S., Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Chile, China, India, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom and retail websites in the U.S. and 10 other countries. The Company's operations are conducted in three reportable segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club. The Company defines its segments as those operations whose results the chief operating decision maker ("CODM") regularly reviews to analyze performance and allocate resources. The Company sells similar individual products and services in each of its segments. It is impractical to segregate and identify revenues for each of these individual products and services.


Walmart U.S. is our largest segment and operates retail stores in all 50 states in the U.S., Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, with three primary store formats, as well as digital retail. Walmart U.S. generated approximately 64% of our net sales in fiscal 2017, and of our three segments, Walmart U.S. is the largest and has historically had the highest gross profit as a percentage of net sales ("gross profit rate"). In addition, Walmart U.S. has historically contributed the greatest amount to the Company's net sales and operating income.


Walmart International consists of operations in 27 countries outside of the U.S. and includes numerous formats divided into three major categories: retail, wholesale and other. These categories consist of numerous formats, including supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs (including Sam's Clubs), cash & carry, home improvement, specialty electronics, apparel stores, drug stores and convenience stores, as well as digital retail. Walmart International generated approximately 24% of our fiscal 2017 net sales. The overall gross profit rate for Walmart International is lower than that of Walmart U.S. primarily because of its merchandise mix. Walmart International is our second largest segment and has grown through acquisitions, as well as by adding retail, wholesale and other units.


Sam's Club consists of membership-only warehouse clubs and operates in 47 states in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico, as well as digital retail. Sam's Club accounted for approximately 12% of our fiscal 2017 net sales. As a membership-only warehouse club, membership income is a significant component of the segment's operating income. Sam's Club operates with a lower gross profit rate and lower operating expenses as a percentage of net sales than our other segments.


The Company measures the results of its segments using, among other measures, each segment's net sales and operating income, which includes certain corporate overhead allocations. From time to time, we revise the measurement of each segment's operating income, including any corporate overhead allocations, as determined by the information regularly reviewed by our CODM. When the measurement of a segment changes, previous period amounts and balances are reclassified to be comparable to the current period's presentation.

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