It’s hard to find a naysayer regarding Wal-Mart’s (WMT) stock these days. Even Jim Cramer launched WMT as a top pick last week. Following Wal-Mart’s annual shareholder meeting last Friday, Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers continued the lovefest:
…Friday’s message at the annual meeting was clear. Wal-Mart is now on the offensive and has a clear sense of what it wants to accomplish going forward as it tries its best to stay ahead of events.
Disciplined approach is starting to pay off. Wal-Mart’s message on Friday mirrors the sentiments of last fall’s meeting. After being first revealed eight months ago, Wal-Mart’s capital and operating disciplines are now in place and are starting to show tangible results. These include an improved inventory position, a more thoughtful store capital spending strategy, and a coherent/relevant marketing program that compliments a merchandising strategy that is more similar to the times of the company’s current customer base.
We believe that WMT’s clear pricing message and strong value proposition are helping the company gain share of wallet with existing customers and attract new customers to the store. In addition, better merchandising and improved presentation, especially in home and apparel, should drive comparable store sales going forward.
Credit Suisse maintains OUTPERFORM, target $60. Lehman Brothers maintains BUY, target $67.