At Wal-Mart’s annual meeting today, Whitney Tilson and Glenn Tongue, co-managers of the Tilson Focus Fund, plan to give management of one of their top holdings a piece of their mind, MarketWatch reports. And that’s to take a couple of pages out of the playbook of another one of their major holdings: McDonald’s.
“What Wal-Mart needs to do is follow the game plan that McDonald’s has pursued that’s taken McDonald’s stock from $30 to $50,” said Tilson, who also manages a hedge fund but launched the retail fund in 2005.
The portfolio managers’ order is a fairly tall one: use capital more effectively, stop opening new stores and instead focus on same-store sales, improve customers’ experience by refurbishing existing stores and offering a better selection, change the corporate image, sell the Sam’s Club division and reorganize international operations.
“McDonald’s was astonishing in terms of how a company of that size turned out,” Tilson said. “We know the program to fix Wal-Mart. We’ve seen it work, and we’ve made a fortune off it with McDonald’s.”
Wal-Mart should be content with being a smartly run “slow-growth” business. “A slow-growth business, managed properly, producing unbelievable amounts of capital and returning capital to shareholders, can be a home-run investment.”