How bad was Tuesday's earnings report from Walmart (WMT) really?
I think the answer is that until last year, there was a perception that Walmart was getting its butt kicked by Amazon (AMZN) -- but then Walmart generated 50% e-commerce growth last quarter and an e-commerce star was born. Not only were brick-and-mortar same-store sales much better than expected, but comp-store sales were quite simply better than any other omnichannel retailer's.
To me, that said that Walmart was going to be the premier retailer for 2018 through brawn, brains, Jet.com and higher wages. But then disaster struck on Tuesday, with a 50% cut in Walmart's e-commerce, then a questionable set of answers about when growth was going to back to 50% or even 40%. The stock is now showing the level of investor confidence in that return.
To me, that's it. This is the clarion call to deal with something that we'd been discussing for a week now (and making clear in our monthly conference call for our Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio) -- the fact that Amazon's business is accelerating again. What I didn't realize is that now I believe there was national sampling by consumers of Walmart's offerings recently, followed by a return to the friendly Amazon confines.
Now I have no doubt that by Wednesday, the Walmart claque will be out urging you to buy. Big caps don't give up the ghost so fast.
But to me, this slowdown in Walmart's e-commerce growth and the intensifying competition in food from two German chains -- not to mention from Kroger (KR) and Target (TGT) -- means the option of buying Amazon has just become too great and the objections flat out answered.
That's why we're trying to build a substantial position in Amazon for my charitable trust. It's been a project for several weeks now as the entire market went down (Amazon included).
But slowly but surely, AMZN has climbed back, even though I was restricted from buying for the whole time until I had off Tuesday. But now's the time to buy. I think Amazon takes out its high ... and then some.