Walmart (WMT) CEO warns of higher prices if trade tensions escalate

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WMT – Walmart Inc. customers haven’t felt the effects of the trade war between the U.S. and China yet, but CEO says that could soon change.

Walmart Inc. customers haven’t felt the effects of the trade war between the U.S. and China yet, but Chief Executive Doug McMillon says that could soon change.

“We worry about next spring, next summer, next fall what customers will have to pay if tariffs do escalate.”

Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO

Speaking Thursday to CNBC, McMillon said Walmart WMT, -1.67%   may have to raise prices if President Donald Trump carries out threats to hike tariffs on Chinese goods next year.

McMillon said the retail giant has managed to hold prices for now, but that can’t last forever.

“We try to go up as little as we can and as late as we can for customers, but there are some categories where over time this will show up,” he said.

McMillon said Walmart is starting to explore other options for its supply chain, since China is the No. 2 source of its goods.

Earlier this week, Wells Fargo analysts said Walmart and rival Target Corp.TGT, -2.49%   are among the retail brands that stand to benefit the most from 90-day the tariff truce announced at the G-20 meeting last weekend. Trump also said he would hold off on imposing tariffs on an additional $267 billion of Chinese goods. But that truce may be more complex, and more fragile, than first believed.

“The worst-case scenario, a 25% tariff on all products sourced from China, without mitigation, would have represented a median earnings headwind of 40% for the mass merchants and dollar-store names,” the Wells Fargo analysts wrote Monday.

Walmart Inc. shares rose $0.23 (+0.25%) in after-hours trading Friday. Year-to-date, WMT has declined -3.39%, versus a 0.06% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

WMT currently has a POWR Rating of B (Buy), and is ranked #3 of 18 stocks in the Grocery/Big Box Retailers category.

This article is brought to you courtesy of MarketWatch.

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WMT Current Price $98.18 0.01%
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The day of this event (Dec. 7, 2018)
WMT Closing Price$92.69 1.67%
WMT Volume8,542,117
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