Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) – Investment analysts at Jefferies Group reduced their Q3 2018 EPS estimates for shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst D. Binder now expects that the retailer will post earnings of $0.96 per share for the quarter, down from their previous estimate of $0.98. Jefferies Group has a “Buy” rating and a $97.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Wal-Mart Stores’ FY2018 earnings at $4.45 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $6.20 EPS.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.87% and a net margin of 2.60%. Wal-Mart Stores’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.07 EPS.
WMT has been the topic of a number of other research reports. KeyCorp restated a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. Vetr downgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.69 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, June 19th. BidaskClub downgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $84.00 target price (up previously from $80.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company restated a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $83.48.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WMT. FMR LLC increased its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 45.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,982,372 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,360,906,000 after buying an additional 5,608,785 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 161.4% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 3,297,419 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $237,678,000 after buying an additional 2,035,800 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 42.6% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 5,745,493 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $434,819,000 after buying an additional 1,716,422 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 52.9% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 4,883,390 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $369,565,000 after buying an additional 1,689,364 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores in the first quarter valued at $111,777,000. 30.19% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total value of $37,942,321.68. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 10,048,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $804,288,343.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,000,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.47, for a total value of $158,940,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $536,309,652.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock worth $785,676,492 in the last ninety days. 51.39% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
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 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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