Zacks Investment Research Lowers Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Share price of Walmart has been outperforming the industry on a year-to-date basis, as the company is pushing itself to understand the evolving needs of its customers and expand itself in both brick-and-mortar space as well as e-commerce activities. On one hand, the company is posting positive comps at Walmart U.S. for 12 successive quarters, on the other hand, it is also building its e-commerce capabilities through acquisitions and growing in the online grocery and delivery market. The company therefore expects sales to rise approximately 3% during fiscal 2019, backed by the sustained growth in comps and e-commerce. However, the company still faces headwinds such as unfavorable currency, stiff competition from both brick & mortar and online retailers and huge expenses related to e-commerce investments. Nevertheless, the company makes efforts to offset these headwinds with its initiatives to boost sales.”

Several other research firms have also recently commented on WMT. Vetr cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $80.69 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, June 19th. BidaskClub cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a buy rating and set a $75.54 price target (down from $88.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a market perform rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a neutral rating to a buy rating and increased their price target for the company from $78.00 to $84.00 in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $84.38.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 86.40 on Tuesday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12-month low of $65.28 and a 12-month high of $86.95. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $80.90 and its 200-day moving average price is $77.99. The company has a market cap of $258.09 billion, a PE ratio of 20.76 and a beta of 0.29.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.37 earnings per share for the current year.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: This news story was originally posted by The Ledger Gazette and is the sole property of of The Ledger Gazette. If you are reading this news story on another publication, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of international copyright & trademark legislation. The original version of this news story can be viewed at https://ledgergazette.com/2017/10/20/zacks-investment-research-lowers-wal-mart-stores-inc-wmt-to-hold.html.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 775,958 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.24, for a total value of $62,262,869.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 10,507,224 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $843,099,653.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.44, for a total transaction of $10,427,276.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $269,068,260.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492. 51.39% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.6% in the 1st quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 23,573 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,699,000 after acquiring an additional 1,039 shares during the period. Security National Bank of SO Dak grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% in the 1st quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak now owns 15,305 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,103,000 after acquiring an additional 386 shares during the period. First Personal Financial Services grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.0% in the 1st quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 72,719 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,242,000 after acquiring an additional 3,434 shares during the period. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 138,747 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $10,500,000 after acquiring an additional 1,994 shares during the period. Finally, Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.0% in the 1st quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 809,413 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $58,342,000 after acquiring an additional 31,436 shares during the period. 30.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wal-Mart Stores Company Profile

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units in various formats around the world. The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club. The Walmart U.S. segment includes its mass merchant concept in the United States operating under the Walmart or Wa

According to Zacks, “Share price of Walmart has been outperforming the industry on a year-to-date basis, as the company is pushing itself to understand the evolving needs of its customers and expand itself in both brick-and-mortar space as well as e-commerce activities. On one hand, the company is posting positive comps at Walmart U.S. for 12 successive quarters, on the other hand, it is also building its e-commerce capabilities through acquisitions and growing in the online grocery and delivery market. The company therefore expects sales to rise approximately 3% during fiscal 2019, backed by the sustained growth in comps and e-commerce. However, the company still faces headwinds such as unfavorable currency, stiff competition from both brick & mortar and online retailers and huge expenses related to e-commerce investments. Nevertheless, the company makes efforts to offset these headwinds with its initiatives to boost sales.”

Several other research firms have also recently commented on WMT. Vetr cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $80.69 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, June 19th. BidaskClub cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a buy rating and set a $75.54 price target (down from $88.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a market perform rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a neutral rating to a buy rating and increased their price target for the company from $78.00 to $84.00 in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $84.38.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 86.40 on Tuesday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12-month low of $65.28 and a 12-month high of $86.95. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $80.90 and its 200-day moving average price is $77.99. The company has a market cap of $258.09 billion, a PE ratio of 20.76 and a beta of 0.29.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.37 earnings per share for the current year.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: This news story was originally posted by The Ledger Gazette and is the sole property of of The Ledger Gazette. If you are reading this news story on another publication, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of international copyright & trademark legislation. The original version of this news story can be viewed at https://ledgergazette.com/2017/10/20/zacks-investment-research-lowers-wal-mart-stores-inc-wmt-to-hold.html.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 775,958 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.24, for a total value of $62,262,869.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 10,507,224 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $843,099,653.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.44, for a total transaction of $10,427,276.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $269,068,260.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492. 51.39% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.6% in the 1st quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 23,573 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,699,000 after acquiring an additional 1,039 shares during the period. Security National Bank of SO Dak grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% in the 1st quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak now owns 15,305 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,103,000 after acquiring an additional 386 shares during the period. First Personal Financial Services grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.0% in the 1st quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 72,719 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,242,000 after acquiring an additional 3,434 shares during the period. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 138,747 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $10,500,000 after acquiring an additional 1,994 shares during the period. Finally, Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.0% in the 1st quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 809,413 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $58,342,000 after acquiring an additional 31,436 shares during the period. 30.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wal-Mart Stores Company Profile

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units in various formats around the world. The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club. The Walmart U.S. segment includes its mass merchant concept in the United States operating under the Walmart or Wal-Mart brands, as well as digital retail.

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