Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Raised to Buy at Vetr

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) was upgraded by research analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, January 10th. The brokerage currently has a $104.38 price target on the retailer’s stock. Vetr‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 0.26% from the stock’s previous close.

WMT has been the subject of a number of other reports. Citigroup upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $106.00 to $117.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $101.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $88.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Wolfe Research upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Finally, Bank of America set a $100.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. 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 company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $100.01.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) traded down $0.37 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $104.11. The stock had a trading volume of 2,687,874 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,840,000. The stock has a market capitalization of $308,350.00, a P/E ratio of 27.69, a PEG ratio of 3.76 and a beta of 0.42. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $66.37 and a 1-year high of $109.98. 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 (NYSE:WMT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $122.14 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.92% and a net margin of 2.31%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.98 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that authorizes the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,900,679 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.82, for a total transaction of $283,744,419.78. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $660,146,095.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP John R. Furner sold 1,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total transaction of $119,148.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 48,757 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,841,082.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock valued at $1,207,333,538. 51.39% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WMT. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 105,673,654 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $7,997,381,000 after purchasing an additional 440,343 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 45.3% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,982,372 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,360,906,000 after buying an additional 5,608,785 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 14,804,523 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,156,909,000 after buying an additional 224,821 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,263,738 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $701,080,000 after buying an additional 174,296 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.5% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,919,633 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $696,979,000 after buying an additional 45,217 shares during the period. 30.62% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other 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.

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

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