Senator Michael Thiessen (R-MS) has proposed legislation that would allow retail investors to sell their Walmart shares on the secondary market.
Senator Thiesses proposal would also allow Walmart stock to be sold through direct-to-consumer platforms like Amazon and Flipkart.
This is the second time this week that Senator Thieessen has proposed a bill to regulate the sale of Walmart stock, after he introduced a bill in March to regulate its distribution.
In January, Walmart’s board of directors voted unanimously to allow direct-sales of shares in its US retail business.
In November, Walmart announced it would start selling stock in third-party platforms, including Amazon, AmazonFresh and Etsy, with a goal of becoming a mainstream online retailer by 2021.
The proposal is the latest move in the Walmart battle with Amazon.
Last month, Walmart told the Wall Street Journal that it was working on a plan to sell more than 5 million shares of its common stock in its third-largest retailing chain by 2020.
But Walmart stock could still fall in value if Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is not completed by then.
If the deal goes through, the retailer would have a significant stake in Amazon and AmazonFresh, both of which have struggled in recent years to grow sales.
AmazonFresh has struggled to maintain growth and profitability, while Walmart’s stock has continued to lose ground.
At a recent stockholders meeting, Walmart Chairman and CEO Mike Duke announced that Amazon’s purchase of Whole Food had resulted in a 20% discount for customers.
AmazonFresh’s shares have also been gaining on Walmart, according to research firm FactSet, but that has been offset by an increased premium on Amazon’s stock.
Meanwhile, the company has recently announced that it plans to spend $1 billion on acquisitions to strengthen its position in the US, but its stock has not returned to its pre-Amazon high.
However, Walmart could still see a resurgence in its stock once the deal is complete.
Last week, Walmart stock closed at a record high of $45.30, up 8.5% from the previous day’s close of $44.50.
Walmart stock has also climbed over the past few days, hitting a record $65.80 in early trading on Tuesday, up 6.3%.
However the company is expected to make more than $10 billion in profits this year.
“We expect Walmart stock will start to rise again, even after the deal closes, but it will not be as much as we think it is going to be,” says Matt Krantz, director of retail research at BTIG.
In the longer term, the price of Walmart shares could potentially rise in the face of an Amazon deal, which could also help boost Walmart’s profits.
According to a report from BMO Capital Markets, the stock of Walmart could rise by between 7% and 15% after Amazon’s takeover.
On Thursday, Walmart reported fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street’s expectations and beat Wall St. forecasts for profit.
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