Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $121.00 price objective on the retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Walmart has surpassed the industry in the past year, backed by focus on strengthening e-commerce and store operations. These factors aided the company retain sturdy comps trend in first-quarter fiscal 2019, wherein earnings marked its fifth straight beat. Further, U.S. comps rose for the 19th straight time. Further, e-commerce sales surged on robust Walmart.com and online grocery performances. Encouragingly, e-commerce sales are expected to rise nearly 35% in fiscal 2020. The company is also making efforts to improve its International unit by shifting focus to profitable countries. However, the addition of Flipkart was a drag on Walmart’s operating income. Moreover, transportation costs, compelling pricing strategy and tariff-related worries are threats to margins. Nonetheless, the Flipkart deal bodes well for the long term.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Robert W. Baird reissued a positive rating and set a $120.00 target price (up previously from $115.00) on shares of Walmart in a research note on Thursday, August 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Telsey Advisory Group reissued an outperform rating and set a $125.00 target price (up previously from $118.00) on shares of Walmart in a research note on Friday, August 16th. Jefferies Financial Group lifted their target price on shares of Walmart from $117.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, June 10th. Buckingham Research set a $109.00 target price on shares of Walmart and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, August 16th. Finally, Citigroup set a $129.00 target price on shares of Walmart and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 16th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $115.76.

Shares of NYSE WMT opened at $117.11 on Tuesday. Walmart has a twelve month low of $85.78 and a twelve month high of $118.19. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $112.42 and a 200 day simple moving average of $106.38. The company has a market capitalization of $331.39 billion, a PE ratio of 23.85, a P/E/G ratio of 5.01 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a quick ratio of 0.21, a current ratio of 0.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 15th. The retailer reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.22 by $0.05. Walmart had a net margin of 2.48% and a return on equity of 18.23%. The business had revenue of $130.40 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $129.32 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.29 earnings per share. Walmart’s quarterly revenue was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts expect that Walmart will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Daniel J. Bartlett sold 3,000 shares of Walmart stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $109.14, for a total transaction of $327,420.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 122,673 shares in the company, valued at $13,388,531.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider John R. Furner sold 7,900 shares of Walmart stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $114.72, for a total transaction of $906,288.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 14,580 shares of company stock valued at $1,658,306. Insiders own 51.11% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WMT. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Walmart by 61.8% during the first quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 63,007 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $6,144,000 after purchasing an additional 24,062 shares during the last quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Walmart by 420.3% during the first quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC now owns 6,067 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $592,000 after purchasing an additional 4,901 shares during the last quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Walmart by 5.5% during the first quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 2,972 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $290,000 after purchasing an additional 154 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Stockton boosted its holdings in Walmart by 16.6% during the first quarter. Bank of Stockton now owns 8,975 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $875,000 after purchasing an additional 1,280 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Spirit of America Management Corp NY boosted its holdings in Walmart by 2.7% during the first quarter. Spirit of America Management Corp NY now owns 9,484 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $925,000 after purchasing an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.11% of the company’s stock.

Walmart Company Profile

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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