The fortunes of the grandchildren of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, were down nearly $ 13 billion on Thursday, after the world’s largest retailer reported below-expected earnings and decided to increase spending next year.
Walmart shares plunged 6% Thursday, losing $ 25 billion in market value and pushing the Dow Jones index lower.
The group’s shares returned to the green today with gains of approximately 0.66%.
The retailer reported strong sales during the holidays for 2020, partly driven by a 69% jump in US e-commerce sales, but profits for the period were below Wall Street expectations. The company also warned investors of the possibility of slowing sales growth and its intention to increase spending.
Walmart aims to spend around $ 14 billion in capital expenditures during the current fiscal year, up from average capital expenditures that have ranged between $ 10 billion to $ 11 billion over the past five years, as it increases its investment in automation, the supply chain, and its digital presence to serve shoppers in new ways.
The company’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, said in a phone call Thursday with investors that the company wanted to give workers an “upward ladder” to start as juniors and advance toward a higher-paying job. The company said more than three-quarters of its store managers started working by the hour.
The Walton family remains the richest family in the United States, with an accumulated net worth of $ 235 billion, thanks to their stakes in Walmart. It is followed by the Koch family, who controls about $ 100 billion in wealth. Alice ranks 17th on the list of the richest people in the world with a net worth of around $ 64.9 billion, followed by Brother Jim (No. 18 with $ 64.7 billion) and Brother Rob (No. 20 with a net worth of $ 64.4 billion). Combined household net worth has remained as high as $ 50 billion since the start of the pandemic.