Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) Lifted to Market Perform at Wolfe Research

Wolfe Research upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) from an underperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report released on Wednesday, December 20th, The Fly reports.

Several other research firms have also recently commented on WMT. Vetr cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $91.97 target price on the stock. in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Telsey Advisory Group lowered their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $108.00 to $96.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $83.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an underperform rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $90.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $91.00 to $99.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $97.16.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) traded up $0.85 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $100.87. 6,907,200 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,490,000. The firm has a market cap of $298,820.00, a PE ratio of 26.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.68 and a beta of 0.37. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a current ratio of 0.81. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52-week low of $65.28 and a 52-week high of $102.35.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $122.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. Wal-Mart Stores’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.98 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.43 earnings per share for the current year.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the retailer to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, EVP John R. Furner sold 1,200 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred 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 owns 48,757 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,841,082.53. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 826,617 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.39, for a total transaction of $79,677,612.63. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,345,065 shares in the company, valued at approximately $322,430,815.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock worth $1,207,333,538. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Winfield Associates Inc. increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% during the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 75 shares during the period. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% during the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $106,000 after acquiring an additional 696 shares during the period. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% during 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 acquiring an additional 45 shares during the period. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% during the second 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 during the period. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% during the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,847 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $139,000 after acquiring an additional 7 shares during the period. 30.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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.

The Fly

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

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