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

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Walmart (NYSE:WMT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Friday, Zacks.com reports. They presently have a $125.00 price objective on the retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 6.03% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Walmart's shares have outpaced the industry in the past year, backed by focus on strengthening e-commerce and store operations. These factors helped the company retain its sturdy comps trend in third-quarter fiscal 2019, wherein earnings marked its seventh straight beat and U.S. comps rose for the 21st straight time. Further, e-commerce sales surged on robust online grocery performance. Further, 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, Flipkart’s addition was a drag on Walmart’s bottom line, which is expected to continue in fiscal 2020. This along with a compelling pricing strategy and tariff-related worries is a threat to margins. Nonetheless, the Flipkart deal bodes well for the long term.”

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. Oppenheimer increased their target price on Walmart from $108.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, November 4th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $125.00 target price on Walmart and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 14th. Citigroup reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 target price (up previously from $129.00) on shares of Walmart in a research note on Wednesday, September 18th. Nomura assumed coverage on Walmart in a research note on Friday, November 8th. They set a “buy” rating and a $132.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Walmart from $125.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 31st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $124.22.

NYSE:WMT opened at $117.89 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.20, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $119.44 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $115.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $337.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.93, a P/E/G ratio of 4.82 and a beta of 0.35. Walmart has a 12-month low of $92.69 and a 12-month high of $125.38.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 14th. The retailer reported $1.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $126.98 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $128.08 billion. Walmart had a return on equity of 18.47% and a net margin of 2.77%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.08 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Walmart will post 4.98 EPS for the current year.

In related news, EVP Judith J. Mckenna sold 8,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.21, for a total transaction of $989,443.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 216,811 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,846,039.31. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Marc E. Lore sold 85,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.57, for a total value of $10,248,450.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 2,808,295 shares in the company, valued at approximately $338,596,128.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 51.11% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Aldebaran Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Walmart by 1.1% in the 3rd quarter. Aldebaran Financial Inc. now owns 7,659 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $903,000 after purchasing an additional 86 shares in the last quarter. Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Walmart by 0.5% during the 3rd quarter. Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. now owns 16,943 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,011,000 after acquiring an additional 91 shares in the last quarter. Eads & Heald Wealth Management boosted its holdings in shares of Walmart by 0.5% during the 3rd quarter. Eads & Heald Wealth Management now owns 19,218 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,281,000 after acquiring an additional 97 shares in the last quarter. Oxbow Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Walmart by 3.3% during the 3rd quarter. Oxbow Advisors LLC now owns 3,119 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $370,000 after acquiring an additional 99 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hilltop Holdings Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Walmart by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc. now owns 5,523 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $610,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. 30.37% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Walmart

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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