Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) Given Average Rating of “Hold” by Analysts

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) have been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the thirty-eight research firms that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, nineteen have assigned a hold recommendation, fourteen have given a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year price target among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $81.13.

A number of brokerages recently commented on WMT. KeyCorp restated a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $77.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and issued a $85.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Sunday. BMO Capital Markets restated a “market weight” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, August 21st.

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Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 80.05 on Wednesday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12-month low of $65.28 and a 12-month high of $81.99. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $79.87 and a 200 day moving average of $76.28. The company has a market cap of $240.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.23 and a beta of 0.30. Wal-Mart Stores also saw unusually large options trading on Monday. Stock investors bought 5,107 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 351% compared to the average volume of 1,132 put options.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.87% and a net margin of 2.60%. The company had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.86 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 directly owns 10,048,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $804,288,343.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total value of $1,972,127.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 7,948,971 shares of company stock worth $628,583,326. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter valued at approximately $185,000. Frontier Investment Mgmt Co. bought a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter valued at approximately $12,983,000. W. E. Donoghue & Co. LLC bought a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter valued at approximately $2,149,000. Intl Fcstone Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter valued at approximately $542,000. Finally, Griffin Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter valued at approximately $7,274,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.19% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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