NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Happy Walmart (WMT) earnings release day! No shocker here: Walmart is a really HUGE global operation. It has been my contention that the executives running the company, in spite of access to all sorts of real-time data, are overseeing a business that has grown too big to manage properly. In a business that is expanding at the pace Walmart does each year, little aspects of the business get overlooked by the management team, and could go on to produce an ugly quarter or four some six months into the future. As an investor, Walmart is basically impossible to fully cover in a comprehensive manner given its size, and that is unfortunate.
For example, I bet you didn't know these three facts about the company:
- There have been seven Walmart store closures in China since March of this year (14 closed in 2013). Protests by laid off workers and upset suppliers have begun to sprout just as the company seeks to add more stores in the country's better areas.
- Asda, Walmart's banner in the UK, will start installing energy efficient LED lighting very shortly. Energy use is projected to decline by 5% per store due to these new fixtures (stat: sales floor lighting accounts for 90% of the total lighting usage in each Walmart store).
- Walmart has gone on a Neighborhood Market store assault in the past two months, announcing new locations or opening sites for the grocery store format, averaging 38,000 square feet at a feverish pace. Usually boasting 150-200 parking spaces, 4-6 gas pumps, and a drive-thru pharmacy, look out CVS (CVS) and Walgreen (WAG). Also Target (TGT), you have been put on notice, Walmart is gobbling up much of the prime small store real estate while you fiddle around on a CEO search and a loss-leading Canadian operation.
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-- By Brian Sozzi CEO of Belus Capital Advisors, analyst to TheStreet.