Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (WMT) recently announced its 41st consecutive annual dividend increase. This did not get much attention because of two reasons: 1) The dividend increase was not stellar, at just 2%.
"The Board of Directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. approved an annual cash dividend for fiscal year 2015 of $1.92 per share, an increase of two percent from the $1.88 per share paid during fiscal year 2014.
31, 2014 is considered a non-GAAP financial measure under the SEC's rules because the Underlying EPS for each such period includes certain amounts not included in the diluted earnings per share from continuing operations attributable to Wal-Mart ...
The company's shares traded at a PE ratio of 14.68. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s shares have advanced 0.91% in the last one month, while the same has fallen by 0.49% in the previous three trading sessions and 5.41% on YTD basis.
Part of this is a sectoral shift from high capital intensive manufacturing to lower capital intensive services. But it is reinforced by a shift in categorical income distribution from wages to profits.
While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a closer look at particularly stock-shaking upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.