Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday. The firm currently has $104.38 price target on the retailer’s stock.
WMT has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, January 6th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $101.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a market weight rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Jefferies Group set a $105.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Finally, Bank of America set a $100.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Eighteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Wal-Mart Stores currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $98.46.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at $100.87 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $298,820.00, a P/E ratio of 26.83, a P/E/G ratio of 3.68 and a beta of 0.37. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52-week low of $65.28 and a 52-week high of $102.35. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $122.14 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.98 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.43 EPS for the current year.
Wal-Mart Stores announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, SVP David Chojnowski sold 684 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total value of $67,914.36. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 826,617 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.39, for a total transaction of $79,677,612.63. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 3,345,065 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $322,430,815.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock valued at $1,207,333,538. Corporate insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Voya Investment Management LLC grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 10.9% during the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 2,983,092 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $225,760,000 after acquiring an additional 294,383 shares in the last quarter. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.5% during the second quarter. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. now owns 8,067 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $611,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 23.1% during the second quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 2,095,792 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $158,610,000 after acquiring an additional 393,180 shares in the last quarter. Numeric Investors LLC grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 31.2% during the second quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 1,179,674 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $89,278,000 after acquiring an additional 280,430 shares in the last quarter. Finally, R. G. Niederhoffer Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter valued at $363,000. 30.58% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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