Griffin Asset Management Inc. trimmed its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) by 8.2% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 88,273 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 7,845 shares during the period. Wal-Mart Stores comprises about 1.2% of Griffin Asset Management Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 23rd biggest position. Griffin Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $6,898,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% during the third quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC now owns 458,274 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $35,810,000 after buying an additional 5,354 shares during the period. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 9.4% during the third quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 341,387 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $26,676,000 after buying an additional 29,418 shares during the period. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter worth approximately $781,000. Cambria Investment Management L.P. increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.8% during the third quarter. Cambria Investment Management L.P. now owns 80,470 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $6,288,000 after buying an additional 3,683 shares during the period. Finally, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.9% during the third quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 195,304 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $15,275,000 after buying an additional 9,101 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.62% of the company’s stock.
In other Wal-Mart Stores news, SVP David Chojnowski sold 684 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total value of $67,914.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,900,679 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.82, for a total value of $283,744,419.78. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $660,146,095.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock valued at $1,207,333,538. Corporate insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.92% and a net margin of 2.31%. The firm had revenue of $122.14 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $120.23 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.98 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores Inc will post 4.43 EPS for the current year.
Several brokerages have commented on WMT. Barclays increased their price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores to $120.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, January 26th. Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $110.28 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, January 23rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, January 21st. Eighteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $100.01.
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About Wal-Mart Stores
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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