Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) dropped 1.2% during mid-day trading on Monday after BMO Capital Markets lowered their price target on the stock to $63.00. The company traded as low as $67.75 and last traded at $67.90, with a volume of 4,902,046 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $68.70.
Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Jefferies Group set a $85.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. Nomura reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $81.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Thursday, June 23rd. Vetr raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.65 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 13th. Finally, Guggenheim initiated coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, September 30th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $82.00 price target on the stock. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $74.93.
In related news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,502,398 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.02, for a total transaction of $255,745,101.96. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,507,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $767,230,413.54. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,504,756 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.37, for a total value of $250,134,435.72. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $481,646,154.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 51.55% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 7.2% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 377,826 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $25,877,000 after buying an additional 25,497 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 30.2% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 1,031,777 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $70,666,000 after buying an additional 239,298 shares during the period. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% in the first quarter. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas now owns 27,285 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,869,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.4% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. now owns 592,292 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $40,566,000 after buying an additional 30,400 shares during the period. Finally, Virginia Retirement System purchased a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter valued at about $33,916,000. 29.55% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
The stock’s 50 day moving average is $71.48 and its 200-day moving average is $70.97. The stock has a market capitalization of $208.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.51 and a beta of 0.20.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 18th. The retailer reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $120.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $119.33 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.93% and a net margin of 3.04%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.08 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will post $4.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
About Wal-Mart Stores
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units in various formats around the world. The Company offers an assortment of merchandise and services at everyday low prices (EDLP). The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club.
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