The Walton heirs have lost a staggering $33.7 billion in the last two days as shares of their family’s retailing giant, Walmart, continue to be pummeled.
The reason for the carnage? The company said on Tuesday that its profits had been slammed by higher costs on everything from products to shipping to labor. As a result, net income for the quarter through April fell 25% from a year ago, with earnings per share coming in below analyst estimates.
Investors reacted badly, causing the stock to slide 11.4% yesterday, the worst single-day decline for the company since 1987. The wipeout didn’t end there, with shares falling nearly 7% on Wednesday. While the market was down broadly on Wednesday, that was steeper than the 4% loss suffered by the S&P 500.
“Our first-quarter performance is a disappointment to us, and we’re going to put it behind us and have a strong year,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on the company’s earnings call.
The brunt of the decline was born by Jim, Rob and Alice Walton, children of founder Sam Walton, who saw $9 billion apiece wiped from their fortunes in the last two days. The fortune of their sister-in-law Christy Walton, wife of deceased brother John, contracted by more than $1 billion. Her son Lukas, who received a larger share of his father’s estate, saw his net work knocked down by over $2 billion.
Ann Walton Kroenke and sister Nancy Walton Laurie, who inherited a stake in the company from their father Bud Walton (brother to Sam), also lost over $1 billion each.
The Waltons, who together own about half of Walmart’s stock, are still plenty rich, with a cumulative fortune of $212 billion as of late Wednesday, Forbes estimates. Jim remains the world’s 19th richest person in the world with a net worth of $59 billion, followed by sister Alice (No. 20 with $58.1 billion) and brother Rob (No. 21 with $57.9 billion).