Don't Bet On A Rollback From Walmart Stock This Holiday Season

Walmart will report earnings next Thursday

by Patrick Martin

Published on Nov 8, 2018 at 12:05 PM

Earnings season is in full swing, which is big for retail names because it runs right into the upcoming holiday season. Retail giant Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) is already putting in the work, announcing its earliest Black Friday opening in history. What's more, the company will report third-quarter earnings before the open next Thursday, Nov. 15. Ahead of the event and the upcoming holiday season, the blue-chip could have room to run.

According to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, Walmart has been one of the best retail stocks to own from November through the end of the year, looking at data from the past 10 years. WMT has averaged a two-month gain of 3.79%, with seven of 10 returns positive. 

Looking at WMT's earnings history, the stock closed higher the day after reporting in four of the last eight quarters, including an impressive 9.3% gain last August, and a 10.9% gain this time last year. Looking broader, the shares have averaged a 5.4% move the day after earnings over the last two years, regardless of direction. This time around, Walmart options are pricing in a 5.7% swing for next Friday's trading.

WMT at last check was up 0.5% to trade at $104.76, so a a 5.4% swing to the upside would place the stock north of its late-January high of $109.98. On the charts, WMT has been a steady climber since its bottom near $82 back in late May. The shares rode a post-earnings bull gap higher back in mid-August, and a pullback brought on by October's broad market sell-off was supported by their 60-day moving average. And barring any last-minute collapse, the equity is on track for its fifth straight weekly win. 

Daily Stock Chart WMT

Should WMT move higher once more post-earnings, it could prompt a shift in analyst sentiment. Of the 25 brokerages covering WMT, 12 still rate it a tepid "hold." In addition, the security's consensus 12-month price target of $105.56 sits only just above its current perch. A round of upgrades and price-target hikes could add fuel to the blue chip's fire.

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