Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Shares Up 6.1% on Strong Earnings

Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s stock price shot up 6.1% during mid-day trading on Thursday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock traded as high as $113.64 and last traded at $112.69, 19,249,035 shares changed hands during mid-day trading. An increase of 193% from the average session volume of 6,577,298 shares. The stock had previously closed at $106.20.

The retailer reported $1.27 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.22 by $0.05. Walmart had a net margin of 1.62% and a return on equity of 18.66%. The company had revenue of $130.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $129.32 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.29 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of research firms have commented on WMT. Daiwa Capital Markets raised shares of Walmart from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 21st. Credit Suisse Group set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Walmart and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday. Wolfe Research lowered shares of Walmart from a “peer perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 8th. KeyCorp increased their price target on shares of Walmart from $120.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, June 24th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein raised shares of Walmart from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $101.80 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and twenty-one have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $110.86.

In other Walmart news, Director S Robson Walton sold 1,322,329 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $102.04, for a total transaction of $134,930,451.16. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,347,511 shares in the company, valued at $341,580,022.44. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Judith J. Mckenna sold 4,243 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.19, for a total value of $425,106.17. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 225,373 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,580,120.87. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 5,559,285 shares of company stock worth $571,021,654. Insiders own 51.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WMT. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in Walmart by 4,405.6% during the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 10,353,388 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,143,946,000 after purchasing an additional 10,123,600 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Walmart by 14.6% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 23,977,936 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,233,545,000 after purchasing an additional 3,058,978 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its holdings in Walmart by 184.2% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,653,682 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $514,185,000 after purchasing an additional 3,015,931 shares during the last quarter. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC grew its holdings in Walmart by 11,482.5% during the second quarter. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC now owns 2,444,380 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $244,438,000 after purchasing an additional 2,423,276 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Walmart by 9.2% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 18,148,619 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,687,500,000 after purchasing an additional 1,532,362 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.05% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.21 and a current ratio of 0.77. The business’s fifty day moving average is $111.31. The company has a market cap of $300.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.60 and a beta of 0.41.

About Walmart (NYSE:WMT)

Walmart Inc engages in the retail and wholesale operations in various formats worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. It operates supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, cash and carry stores, discount stores, drugstores, and convenience stores; membership-only warehouse clubs; e-commerce Websites, such as walmart.com, jet.com, shoes.com, and samsclub.com; and mobile commerce applications.

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