Wal-Mart Stores (WMT)
Company Profile: Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores operates Walmart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States.Wal-Mart Stores raised its dividend by 20.7% to 36.5 cents per share. The increased payout was made available on April 4 to shareholders of record on March 11. The next paydate will be June 6, to shareholders of record on May 13. That brings Wal-Mart's yield to around 2.7%. Wal-Mart's massive scale means that it's able to operate at incredibly tight efficiencies, an attribute that all but guarantees the retailer's spot as a bargain seekers' paradise. The retailer currently accounts for somewhere in the realm of 10% of total U.S. retail sales, a mind-blowing figure that also speaks to the saturation of the domestic big-box retail market. To keep pace with investors' huge growth appetite, management has set its sights overseas both with acquisitions and with completely new ventures.
In an attempt to better compete with Amazon.com (AMZN), FreshDirect, Sears (SHLD) and other home-delivery retailers, Wal-Mart said it is testing home delivery of groceries. Launched on April 23 in the San Jose, Calif. area, Wal-Mart will deliver food, health-and-beauty products, medicine and other household items for fees beginning at $5. The home delivery testing will be limited to the San Jose area, Wal-Mart said, and will only expand to other markets if it proves successful with customers there. Wal-Mart already operates a successful home delivery business through its Asda chain in the U.K., and even transferred an executive from that operation to the U.S. to help with the market testing.
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