Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) Rating Increased to Overweight at Stephens

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was upgraded by stock analysts at Stephens from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report issued on Friday. The firm presently has a $91.00 price objective on the retailer’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $78.00. Stephens’ price target would indicate a potential upside of 13.18% from the stock’s current price.

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on WMT. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Sunday, June 4th. Vetr raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.40 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Monday, May 15th. BidaskClub raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Morningstar, Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $79.40.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) opened at 80.40 on Friday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $65.28 and a 1-year high of $81.99. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $77.44 and a 200 day moving average price of $74.15. The firm has a market cap of $242.37 billion, a PE ratio of 18.26 and a beta of 0.29.

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Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $116.53 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $117.01 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.96% and a net margin of 2.79%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.98 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.36 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,278,735 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total value of $259,020,065.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 10,507,224 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $830,070,696. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,576,324 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.65, for a total transaction of $202,627,882.60. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $530,775,817. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock valued at $1,816,131,604. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Winfield Associates Inc. raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% in the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% in the second quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 696 shares in the last quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.7% in the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,511 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 1,252 shares in the last quarter. 30.09% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Wal-Mart Stores Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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