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Wal-Mart: Is A Dividend Increase Coming Soon?

Published Fri, 17 Feb 2017 03:32:03 -0500 on Seeking Alpha

Written by Bob Ciura for Sure Dividend
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) is a legendary dividend stock. It paid its first dividend in 1974, at a rate of $0.05 per share. The company has increased its dividend each year since.
Wal-Mart is a Dividend Aristocrat. These are stocks with over 25 years of consecutive dividend increases that are also members of the S&P 500. You can see the entire list of all 51 Dividend Aristocrats here.
With 43 years of annual dividend increases under its belt, and a highly profitable business model, it's a good bet that Wal-Mart will increase its dividend again.
It has been four full quarters since Wal-Mart last raised its dividend. The company typically announces its annual increase in February, which means it's that time of year again.
This article will assess Wal-Mart's performance over the past year, its outlook up ahead, and what a 2017 dividend increase might look like.
Business Overview
Wal-Mart dominates the retail industry. It generates about $500 billion per year in annual revenue. The company operates three segments:
Wal-Mart U.S. (62% of sales) Wal-Mart International (26% of sales) Sam's Club (12% of sales) The company has a large and growing international presence. Wal-Mart is a global retailing giant.

(Source: Investor Meeting presentation)
These are no easy times for the company. Over the past year, it has seen its brand and financial performance deteriorate.
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