Morgan Stanley Raises Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) Price Target to $92.00

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) had its target price lifted by Morgan Stanley from $90.00 to $92.00 in a report issued on Friday morning. The brokerage currently has an equal weight rating on the retailer’s stock.

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on WMT. CIBC dropped their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $100.00 to $90.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Morningstar, Inc. reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. BidaskClub raised Wal-Mart Stores from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Citigroup Inc. upped their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $86.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $90.87.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) opened at $97.48 on Friday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1 year low of $65.28 and a 1 year high of $100.13. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a current ratio of 0.81. The company has a market capitalization of $291,190.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.25, a PEG ratio of 3.60 and a beta of 0.34.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $120.23 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.98 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Wal-Mart Stores announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 2,117,863 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.45, for a total value of $166,146,352.35. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $262,411,798.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP John R. Furner sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total value of $119,148.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 48,757 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,841,082.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 9,505,463 shares of company stock valued at $753,034,763. Company insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WMT. Winfield Associates Inc. raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% in the 2nd quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% in the 1st quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $106,000 after acquiring an additional 696 shares in the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% in the 2nd quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $108,000 after acquiring an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% in the 2nd quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $115,000 after acquiring an additional 1,252 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,847 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $139,000 after acquiring an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.22% of the company’s stock.

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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