Trading Report: The Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Given a $72.00 Price Target by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Analysts

The Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Given a $72.00 Price Target by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Analysts

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) received a $72.00 price objective from stock analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in a research report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a a “neutral” rating on the retailer’s stock. Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s price target points to a potential upside of 6.73% from the stock’s previous close.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Vetr upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.65 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, June 13th. Morgan Stanley restated a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday, August 18th. Buckingham Research restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday, August 18th. Finally, Cowen and Company upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $76.00 to $83.00 in a report on Monday, September 12th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $74.93.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 67.46 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $208.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.52 and a beta of 0.20. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $71.35 and its 200 day moving average is $70.94. Wal-Mart Stores has a one year low of $56.30 and a one year high of $75.19.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The retailer reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.05. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.93% and a net margin of 3.04%. The firm earned $120.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $119.33 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.08 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.34 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,502,398 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.02, for a total value of $255,745,101.96. Following the sale, the insider now owns 10,507,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $767,230,413.54. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,100,000 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.44, for a total value of $150,024,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $482,118,555.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 51.55% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 7.2% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 377,826 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $25,877,000 after buying an additional 25,497 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 30.2% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 1,031,777 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $70,666,000 after buying an additional 239,298 shares in the last quarter. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% in the first quarter. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas now owns 27,285 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,869,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.4% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. now owns 592,292 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $40,566,000 after buying an additional 30,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Virginia Retirement System purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter worth about $33,916,000. 29.55% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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