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Why It's No Surprise That Walmart Just Cut Its 2019 Guidance

When a company does exactly what it said it was going to do, the market should not be terribly shocked. After Walmart (NYSE: WMT) acquired Indian e-commerce major Flipkart, it warned that it would cut near-term guidance as a result, and lo and behold, it did. But the retailer also revealed a new partnership to sell Advance Auto Parts' wares via the website. Wall Street appears to have mixed feelings about who wins and who loses in this deal.

In this segment from MarketFoolery, host Chris Hill and Motley Fool Asset Management's Bill Barker parse out the situation for the various companies involved.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Oct. 16, 2018.

Chris Hill: Let's move on to Walmart, which is in the headlines for a couple of reasons. Walmart cut earnings guidance for 2019. That's largely due to the acquisition of Flipkart, which is the e-commerce business in India, which Walmart acquired, and that costs money. Walmart had said they were going to be doing this, so this cut in guidance is not really a surprise. They also announced a new partnership with Advance Auto Parts to sell products online and offer delivery. Walmart shares are actually up slightly, Advance Auto Parts down a little bit. I'm not entirely sure why that is, because on the surface, that would seem like a great partnership for Advance Auto Parts. I haven't seen the numbers on how the deal breaks out. Maybe this is an expensive deal in some way for Advance Auto Parts.

Bill Barker: I think that's the interpretation, that Advance Auto is not getting some great deal here. I think, being the third player, quite a bit behind, I would say, O'Reilly and AutoZone, in terms of the success of their model, is getting a bit of a lifeline here. That may be unfair, to characterize them as lagging by that much. But I think it isn't the case that they have stolen a great deal here, at least in the eyes of the market today. But AutoZone is down more, perhaps perceived as having additional competition now and not being the favored stock by Walmart. I think O'Reilly's doing well enough that there's not as much concern. It's not off that much today.

Hill: That's certainly one of the advantages we've seen over the past 15, 20 years for these huge businesses like Walmart, like Costco, where they are largely able to dictate terms to businesses that want to be partnering with them.

Barker: Yeah. One other thing -- Advance Auto Parts is off a little bit today, but it's really right at its high for the year. These things have all bounced back after being way off and given up for dead toward the middle of last year when Amazon made headlines for wanting to get more aggressively in the auto parts space. Everything sold off tremendously and has been doing very well, I would say, since bottoming out between the summer and the fall last year. Really, Advance Auto Parts has doubled off of its low. The business is not as choppy as the stock price. They are, I think, raising the floor on how things look for them.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Bill Barker has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Bill Barker is an employee of Motley Fool Asset Management, a separate, sister company of The Motley Fool, LLC. The views of Bill Barker and Motley Fool Asset Management are not the views of The Motley Fool, LLC and should not be taken as such. Chris Hill owns shares of AMZN. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends AMZN. The Motley Fool recommends COST. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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