Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) Downgraded by Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was downgraded by research analysts at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on WMT. Vetr cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $91.97 price objective for the company. in a report on Friday. Telsey Advisory Group cut their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $108.00 to $96.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Friday. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $83.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a report on Friday. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $90.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $91.00 to $99.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $90.03.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) opened at $97.47 on Monday. Wal-Mart Stores has a fifty-two week low of $65.28 and a fifty-two week high of $100.13. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.19. The firm has a market cap of $291,160.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.60 and a beta of 0.34.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.97 by $0.03. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. The company had revenue of $122.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $120.23 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.98 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, October 10th that authorizes the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, EVP John R. Furner sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total value of $119,148.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 48,757 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,841,082.53. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP David Chojnowski sold 684 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total transaction of $67,914.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 9,979,505 shares of company stock worth $790,977,085 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.6% in the 1st quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 23,573 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,699,000 after buying an additional 1,039 shares during the last quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak now owns 15,305 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,103,000 after purchasing an additional 386 shares during the period. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. now owns 8,067 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $611,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the period. First Personal Financial Services boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.0% during the 1st quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 72,719 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,242,000 after purchasing an additional 3,434 shares during the period. Finally, State of Wisconsin Investment Board boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 23.1% during the 2nd quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 2,095,792 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $158,610,000 after purchasing an additional 393,180 shares during the period. 30.22% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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

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