Wal-Mart's Online Surge Adds $5 Billion to Walton Family Fortune
(Bloomberg) -- The five heirs to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fortune became $5 billion richer Tuesday after the world’s largest retailer said it expects U.S. e-commerce sales to surge 40 percent in the next fiscal year. The forecast added 4.5 percent to Wal-Mart shares and pushed the combined net worth of Alice, Jim, Rob, Lukas and Christy Walton to $140 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Wal-Mart’s upbeat guidance, issued ahead of its annual shareholder meeting, triggered the biggest rally in the company’s shares in more than a year, lending credence to the view that its bet on e-commerce is beginning to pay off. Wal-Mart also said it plans to add 1,000 online-grocery locations. Amazon purchased Whole Foods Market Inc. earlier this year for $13.7 billion.
Bezos’s fortune has risen from about $17 billion when the Bloomberg index debuted in March 2012, a gain of 371 percent. The Waltons have added 48 percent.