Todays Report: Today, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Lowered by The Zacks Investment Research

Today, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Lowered by The Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Wal-Mart reported mixed quarterly numbers for third-quarter fiscal 2017, wherein earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues missed the same. The top line succumbed to a negative surprise after beating estimates in the trailing two quarters. Decline in international revenues has been  a major concern for Wal-Mart for quite some time now. In the first and second quarters of fiscal 2017, international revenues declined 7.2% and 6.6%, respectively. In third-quarter fiscal 2017, segment net sales, including fuel sales, dropped 4.8% year over year to $28.4 billion. Nevertheless, Wal-Mart is focused on its building its e-commerce capabilities, as evident from its recent deal with JD.com in China. In fact, Wal-Mart is aggressively foraying into e-commerce in China with an aim to deliver goods from its stores around the world to Chinese consumers within hours. The Jet.com acquisition in the U.S. also fuelled growth.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the company. Robert W. Baird set a $80.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, November 19th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $73.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, November 18th. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $73.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an underperform rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Jefferies Group set a $85.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group boosted their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $71.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $74.96.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 70.83 on Tuesday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $58.32 and a 1-year high of $75.19. The stock has a market cap of $218.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.36 and a beta of 0.10. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $69.51 and a 200-day moving average price of $71.18.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 17th. The retailer reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.02. The business earned $118.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $118.69 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.71% and a net margin of 2.98%. The business’s revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.03 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.34 EPS for the current year.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, CEO C Douglas Mcmillon sold 75,063 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.08, for a total transaction of $5,185,352.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.44, for a total value of $150,024,000.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $482,118,555.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 51.55% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WMT. Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 1,671.0% in the second quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 4,930,805 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $365,175,000 after buying an additional 4,652,393 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter worth $309,966,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company bought a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter worth $262,122,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 58.0% in the third quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 9,776,421 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $705,075,000 after buying an additional 3,588,060 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter worth $260,853,000. 29.88% of the stock is owned by 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 offers an assortment of merchandise and services at everyday low prices (EDLP). The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club.

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