Walton heirs dispose of $39 million of Wal-Mart stock, remain the richest U.S. family

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 1,303 views 

(from left) Jim Walton, Alice Walton and Rob Walton at the 2016 Wal-Mart shareholders meeting.

The three surviving children of Wal-Mart founders Sam and Helen Walton, recently sold more than 546,979 shares of Wal-Mart stock for an estimated total of $39.17 million. The share disposition was reported in a federal filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday (June 29).

Alice Walton, Jim Walton and Rob Walton are each members of the Walton Family Holdings Trust where the sale originated. There were three separate transactions over a two-day period to complete the large sale. The Walton Family Holdings Trust was left with a share balance of 173,113,205 shares after the sale. The value of the shares held by Walton Family Holdings Trust is $12.544 billion as of Wednesday (June 29).

Rob Walton also made a charitable share gift of 940,000 shares of Wal-Mart stock on June 27. That donation came from his personal direct holdings. The filing did not disclose the recipient of the in-kind share gift.

The direct Walton heirs also control another 1,415,891,131 shares of Wal-Mart stock registered to Walton Enterprises LLC. The value of that share portfolio is $10.26 billion. Each of the Walton children also owns large amounts of Wal-Mart shares directly. Alice Walton’s direct share ownership is equal to 6,748,580 shares worth an estimated $480 million.

Jim Walton’s personal direct holdings include 10,507,127 shares valued at $761.346 million. The eldest son, Rob Walton’s personal direct ownership is equal to 1,987,603 shares worth an estimated $144.021 million.

The family’s total holdings is equal to roughly a 50% stake in the company, a level the family tries to maintain. The family fortune of $130 billion puts the Waltons atop the wealthiest families in America for the third consecutive year, according to Forbes. That fortune is spread among seven heirs, not just the three mentioned in this story.

In the first quarter of this year the seven Walton family heirs added a collective $8.7 billion to their fortunes after Wal-Mart’s better-than-expected earnings results. With every dollar increase in share price of Wal-Mart stock the family fortunes of Alice, Jim and Rob Walton grows by $1.608 billion. Share repurchases and dividend payments also help to ratchet up the equity stake for the heirs.

Wal-Mart shares (NYSE: WMT) closed Thursday (June 30) at $73.02, up 56 cents. Wal-Mart shares are up more than 19% since the beginning of 2016. Over the past 52 weeks the share price has ranged from a $56.30 low to a $74.14 high.