Walmart Could End Long-Term Uptrend

Dow component Walmart Inc. (WMT) hit an all-time high and sold off earlier this week after posting a better-than-expected Q2 2020 profit of $1.56 per-share on a 2.8% year-over-year rise in revenue to $137.7 billion, also beating estimates. U.S. e-commerce sales grew an impressive 97% while quarterly comps rose 9%. Home improvement, sporting goods, landscape, and electronics all reported strong increases while back-to-school sales have lagged due to pandemic shutdowns.

Walmart Picking Up Market Share After Competitors Close

The retail giant surged to an all-time in March, building first quarter market share while smaller competitors shut their doors in reaction to stay-at-home and quarantine orders around the globe. A robust e-commerce portal also allowed Walmart to compete forcefully with Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN), while both mega-caps picked up permanent market share. However, 2020 leaders have now fallen out of favor, with large chunks of capital rotating into beaten-down recovery plays.

Telsey Advisory Group raised their target from $140 to $145 on Wednesday, with analyst Joseph Feldman noting “we believe Walmart is well-positioned to gain market share in this volatile market, given its defensive core product mix, renewed focus on discretionary categories, and solid digital/omni-channel initiatives. Furthermore, newer initiatives, such as the expansion of third-party marketplace services, new health clinics, and a potential membership program, should all fuel growth”.

Wall Street And Technical Outlook

Wall Street consensus has deteriorated since the earnings release, with a ‘Moderate Buy’ rating based upon 17 ‘Buy’ and 6 ‘Hold’ recommendations. No analysts are recommending that shareholders sell their positions and move to the sidelines at this time. Price targets currently range from a low of $130 to a street-high $160 while the stock is now trading right on top of the low target. This is dangerous positioning because it could trigger further downgrades.

The stock has been under aggressive selling pressure since February, despite a volatile uptrend that carved four new highs between March and August. This odd conflict establishes a major bearish divergence, warning that smart money has been using higher prices to unload large positions. This is a potent combination that often precedes major tops, telling shareholders to take defensive measures and consider moving to the sidelines.