Retail chain giant Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) shares plunged the most in over 15 years Wednesday, dragging on the consumer staples and retail sector-related exchange traded funds.
Wal-Mart’s stock fell over 9% Wednesday, its larges fall since February 2000, after the firm projected that earnings will decline 6% to 12% in the fiscal 2017, citing higher operating expenses that could top sales growth for the year, while analysts estimated a gain of 4% on average, reports Shannon Pettypiece for Bloomberg.
The outlook was “far worse than anyone expected,” Charles Grom, an analyst with Sterne Agee & Leach, said in a note.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Consumer Staples Select SPDR (NYSEArca: XLP) dipped 0.8%, Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: VDC) dropped 0.7%, Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples Index ETF (NYSEArca: FSTA) fell 0.9% and Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSEArca: RTH) retreated 2.0%.
WMT makes up 6.0% of XLP, 4.8% of VDC, 5.7% of FSTA and 7.5% of RTH.
Weighing on Wal-Mart’s profit margins, the company has put money into its workforce and e-commerce platform. Wal-Mart raised employee wages to $9 per hour in April and could lift it up to at least $10 next year, along with an expanded training program.
Additionally, the chain retailer will be buying back $20 billion in stocks over a two-year period after $15 billion in stock repurchases that begun in 2013.