Walmart is hoping its recent stock split will help make it easier for associates to join its Associate Stock Purchase Plan.
Following news that its store managers will receive an annual stock grant of up to $20,000 beginning this year, Walmart says it will conduct a 3:1 split of its outstanding shares of common stock. The move is part of the retailer’s ongoing review of optimal trading and spread levels, as well as its desire for associates to feel that purchasing shares is more accessible.
More than 400,000 associates currently participate in Walmart’s Associate Stock Purchase Plan, which allows those who are eligible to buy company stock via payroll deductions. The plan provides a 15% company match of up to $1,800 each year.
“Sam Walton believed it was important to keep our share price in a range where purchasing whole shares, rather than fractions, was accessible to all of our associates,” said Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon. “Given our growth and our plans for the future, we felt it was a good time to split the stock and encourage our associates to participate in the years to come. As Sam said, ‘We’re all in this together. That’s the secret.’”
As for the shares to be issued in the stock split, those will be payable after market close on Feb. 23. Walmart says shareholders will receive a distribution of two additional shares of common stock for each share held, and expects that the stock split will increase the number of shares of its outstanding common stock from approximately 2.7 billion shares to approximately 8.1 billion shares.
These latest benefits come on the heels of Walmart’s investments in store manager pay, which will increase the average salary to $128,000 per year, and a redesigned bonus program that gives store managers the chance to earn an annual bonus that’s up to 200% of their salary.
Each week, approximately 240 million customers and members visit Walmart’s approximately 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites in 19 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Walmart one of its Retailers of the Century.