Large companies are not supposed to show double-digit revenue growth. They are supposed to succumb to the law of large numbers and grow much more slowly.
As the Fool by Numbers from yesterday shows, Inside Value selection Wal-Mart
By comparison, fellow retailer Target
On the same-store sales front, Wal-Mart had a good -- but not a great -- year, with an increase of 2.1% for all stores in the United States. That's a pedestrian performance by most measures, but when you consider Wal-Mart's scale in the U.S., and eventually in other markets such as Mexico, such low levels of same-store sales growth come with very small changes in operating expenses, meaning more of that money drops to the bottom line.
Going forward, the growth will need to start coming from Japan, South America, China, and India. I'd include Mexico as well, but Walmex (Pink Sheets: WMMVY.PK) is already a force to be reckoned with in its home market. Of that group, India is so new that it will be tough to measure next year, but China and South America should contribute. The wild card in the group is Japan, where retailing and customer behavior is very different and Wal-Mart's new distribution strategy may need a bit more time to bear fruit.
For more Foolish reading:
- Wal-Mart's Powerful Performance: Fool by Numbers
- Wal-Mart's Inconvenient Truth
- Wal-Mart's Green Goal
- The Best Retail Stock for 2007: Wal-Mart
At the time of publication, Nathan Parmelee owned shares in Costco and had a beneficial interest in shares of Wal-Mart. Costco is a Stock Advisor recommendation. He had no financial interest in any of the other companies mentioned -- but that's nothing personal. He was ranked 73rd out of 22,692 CAPS investors. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.