Walton Family Fortune Soars as Wal-Mart Raises Earnings Forecastby
The five Wal-Mart heirs control $127 billion family fortune
Retailer now expects 2016 earnings of as much as $4.35 a share
Walton family members are gaining ground as America’s richest retailers as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. increases its earnings forecast.
Shares rose 1.9 percent Thursday, boosting the clan’s net worth on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to $127 billion, a 19 percent increase since year-end. By comparison, Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos has seen his fortune rise 12 percent in 2016 to $67 billion.
Wal-Mart now expects annual earnings to be $4.15 to $4.35 a share this year, excluding some items, compared with a previous forecast of $4 to $4.30. Since taking the helm in 2014, Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon has cut prices and improved customer service while boosting pay for U.S. workers and pouring money into online operations, aiming to stem defections to Amazon.
The Waltons -- Alice, Christy, Jim, Lukas and Rob Walton -- are the world’s richest family. They’re ahead of Bill, Charles and David Koch, who have a $106 billion fortune, and Bill Gates and his family, who control $89 billion.