Walmart (WMT) Shares Gap Up After Better-Than-Expected Earnings

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Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) gapped up before the market opened on Thursday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock had previously closed at $96.93, but opened at $99.88. Walmart shares last traded at $101.31, with a volume of 17119104 shares trading hands.

The retailer reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $122.95 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $124.51 billion. Walmart had a net margin of 1.30% and a return on equity of 18.60%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.14 EPS.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 10th will be given a dividend of $0.53 per share. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 9th. Walmart’s payout ratio is currently 43.18%.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on WMT shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Walmart from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday. Wolfe Research downgraded shares of Walmart from a “peer perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 8th. Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of Walmart from $116.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 21st. Telsey Advisory Group reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $115.00 price objective (up from $113.00) on shares of Walmart in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised shares of Walmart from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $107.00 to $110.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $107.13.

In other news, insider John R. Furner sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.82, for a total transaction of $1,018,200.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Jacqueline P. Canney sold 980 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.03, for a total transaction of $97,049.40. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 54,588 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,405,849.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 14,255,221 shares of company stock worth $1,407,521,976 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 51.11% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Mitchell Mcleod Pugh & Williams Inc. increased its holdings in Walmart by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. Mitchell Mcleod Pugh & Williams Inc. now owns 9,623 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $939,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Marietta Investment Partners LLC increased its holdings in Walmart by 4.2% in the 1st quarter. Marietta Investment Partners LLC now owns 2,500 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $244,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. increased its holdings in Walmart by 1.0% in the 4th quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 10,348 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $969,000 after acquiring an additional 104 shares in the last quarter. Stratos Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Walmart by 4.0% in the 1st quarter. Stratos Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,722 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $265,000 after acquiring an additional 104 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Reynders McVeigh Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Walmart by 3.0% in the 1st quarter. Reynders McVeigh Capital Management LLC now owns 3,578 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $349,000 after acquiring an additional 104 shares in the last quarter. 28.96% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The firm has a market capitalization of $297.01 billion, a PE ratio of 20.54, a P/E/G ratio of 4.59 and a beta of 0.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 0.23 and a current ratio of 0.80.

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Walmart Company Profile (NYSE:WMT)

Walmart Inc engages in the retail and wholesale operations in various formats worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. It operates supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, cash and carry stores, discount stores, drugstores, and convenience stores; membership-only warehouse clubs; e-commerce Websites, such as walmart.com, jet.com, shoes.com, and samsclub.com; and mobile commerce applications.

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