RetailerWal-Mart ( WMT ) doesn't just offer consumers good value for their money. Shareholders also could be getting a deal.
Wal-Mart is no lumbering big-cap stock. It's up 14% this year, outpacing the S&P 500. It's also in buying range after breaking out above a 74.23 entry from a saucer base with a handle.
Volume was only 20% above normal as the stock cleared the entry, below the 40% you'd prefer to see. But keep in mind it can be harder for megacaps to move the needle.
Meanwhile, the retailer in February boosted its annual dividend by 29 cents, or 18%, to $1.88 a share. The dividend yields 2.4% at the current share price, roughly in line with the S&P 500 average.
Wal-Mart has raised its dividend every year since 1974 and is a member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index of large-cap stocks that have increased dividends for at least 25 years.
The world's largest retailer is benefiting from international expansion and productivity improvements, which include the introduction of self-checkout machines. It is also testing a system that lets shoppers pick up goods ordered online without going through a salesperson.
Profit has risen for at least eight straight years, growing right through the 2008-09 recession as cash-strapped consumers sought to cut expenses. Its three-year Earnings Stability Factor is a stellar 1 on a scale of 0 (most stable) to 99 (least stable). Revenue growth has also been steady if unspectacular.
Wal-Mart said late last month that it expects to suffer unspecified losses from allegations that company executives had bribed officials in Mexico to speed up its expansion there. But Wal-Mart has said the losses won't have a material impact.
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