NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Walmart Stores (WMT - Get Report) were edging up in mid-morning trading on Friday as Credit Suisse assumed coverage of the stock with an "outperform" rating from "neutral."
The firm also boosted its price target to $80 from $62 on shares of the Bentonville, AR-based retail giant.
"WMT's in-store investments and a better low-end consumer have yielded the return of traffic growth against a deteriorating staples retail landscape," Credit Suisse wrote in an analyst note.
"While there is more work to do, early progress has been encouraging. We see a continuation of top-line momentum as management invests further, and although earnings growth is limited, risk to consensus looks low," the firm added.
This "setup" should yield outperformance in an "uninspiring" coverage universe, according to Credit Suisse.
Meanginful headwinds for the company include e-commerce accelerating brick-and-mortar competition, an over-reliance on "big food" to drive traffic, a general lack of differentiation in its stores outside of price and ongoing deflation, the firm said.
"WMT is aggressively ramping U.S. investments to solidify its position in an evolving industry. It has raised wages, is accelerating the pace of its e-commerce build-out, has started cutting prices, and is committed to raising the bar in underpenetrated fresh food," Credit Suisse added.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of B on the stock.
The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures.
The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: WMT