Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) recently inked an agreement with Murphy USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR), wherein Murphy USA will build fuel stations at 200 Wal-Mart stores in the Midwest and Southeast United States.
Murphy USA is a retail marketing gasoline station in the parking lots of Wal-Mart Supercenters and at stand-alone locations in the United States.
The new fuel stations are expected to increase traffic in the Walmart stores of the region. With this agreement with Walmart, Murphy Oil aims to strive toward spinning off the gas station business, Murphy USA. The company plans to convert the business into its own separate publicly traded company.
Earlier, in a separate development, Walmart and Murphy USA executed the Great Gas Rollback program, helping customers save on their fuel purchases. Walmart customers using a Walmart gift card received a 10 cent per gallon discount while customers using Walmart MoneyCard or Walmart credit card got a 15 cents per gallon discount on their fuel purchase. The discount, which was valid from August 31 to December 24, was available across all Murphy USA gas stations located in Wal-Mart supercenters.
Walmart has 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names. Walmart also continues to expand internationally and in the emerging markets through accretive acquisitions and opening new stores.
However, Walmart, which competes against Target Corporation (TGT), needs to be more careful as customers seek discounts on items to curb expenses. Currently, we have a Neutral recommendation on the stock. Wal-Mart carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating).
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