CEO on the hot seat: Lee Scott, Wal-Mart
If Lee Scott can boost Wal-Mart's tarnished image, growth opportunities abound.
By Jon Birger and David Stires, FORTUNE

NEW YORK (FORTUNE Magazine) - Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott's mandate is simple -- and seemingly impossible: continue producing double-digit growth at a company that already boasts nearly a third of a trillion dollars in yearly sales.

To achieve 10 percent annual revenue growth, Wal-Mart needs to increase sales by $90 million every day. And employee lawsuits, union scuffles, and local opposition to new stores have turned Wal-Mart -- once regarded as a model corporate citizen -- into a media punching bag.

Opportunities

Smarter public relations should lead to fewer bruising battles over new stores -- particularly in California, still relatively untapped. Another growth market is Latin America; Wal- Mart has made recent acquisitions in Brazil and Central America.

Scott is targeting middle-class consumers by introducing more upscale product lines, such as high-thread-count sheets.

Stock outlook

We see a buying opportunity in Wal-Mart (Research). Since 2002, earnings are up 76 percent and the stock is down 28 percent.

Says David Katz, who owns the stock in his Matrix Advisors Value fund: "This is a company we'd always looked longingly at but never owned because it was so richly priced. Until now." Top of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.