The Walton Family Lost Nearly $19 Billion After Walmart’s Biggest Stock Slide In About 35 Years

With Walmart Inc. slashing its profit outlook, the Walton family has already lost $19 billion. The family has been controlling the supermarket chain for the last century. And recently, the chain fell 11% according to the New York Stock Exchange.[1] This took place after the company- based in Arkansas- reported earnings that weren’t profitable.[2] Interestingly, the rise in inflation also served to put pressure on the profit margins. With the company lagging quite a lot, the second quarter would definitely test the appetite to increase their prices. 

For the uninformed, Walmart has historically been centered around a philosophy that caters to discounts. This philosophy was introduced by Sam Walton, the late patriarch of the family. And interestingly, this method has actually helped their stocks during recessions. The surviving family of Walton owns just half the retailer. And yet, they have a combined net worth of a staggering $212 billion. This simply highlights how beneficial Sam Walton’s policy has been.

The Walton family has actually been able to increase their stock sales in the last few years. Since they own their stocks under various trusts, they were able to unload around $6.2 billion in shares. And this took place just the previous year. This has resulted in the company believing that this was a part of a strategy. The strategy is the ability of the family to keep its stakes under 50%. Such disposals have actually assisted in the Walton family accumulating quite a lot of wealth. And impressively, this wealth excludes their valuation from the Walmart stake. One investment firm for the family heavily invests in ETFs which are low-cost. This investment firm was able to hold $5.1 billion at the end of the first quarter.

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The wealth that has been accumulated sans their Walmart stake has opened up several avenues for them. Rob Walton has been moving towards buying the Denver Broncos. For those who are not in the know, this is the first NFL team to be on the market in four years. The price of the team would be upwards of $4 billion.

From an economic standpoint, their 50% stake in Walmart did get hit- despite their massive wealth. On Tuesday, the supermarket chain reported earnings that were quite disappointing. It missed out on the expectations of Wall Street by quite a massive margin. The company shares also touched a new 52-week low where they closed at $131.35. As such, this does serve up quite a point to spectators. After all, this is a company that most economists and investors look towards. In the current market, a supermarket chain would be the best window to analyze consumers.

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  1. World’s Richest Family Loses $19 Billion in Walmart Wipeout.” Bloomberg.
  2. Walmart shares fall as higher costs, supply chain problems and inventories eat into profits.” CNBC. Melissa Repko. May 17, 2022.