Todays Report: The Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Rating Increased to Strong-Buy at Vetr Inc.

The Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Rating Increased to Strong-Buy at Vetr Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was upgraded by stock analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report released on Thursday. The firm presently has a $77.94 price objective on the retailer’s stock. Vetr‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 13.45% from the company’s previous close.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Morgan Stanley restated a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, July 12th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. Buckingham Research restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Friday, September 9th. Finally, Cowen and Company upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $76.00 to $83.00 in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $75.46.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 68.70 on Thursday. Wal-Mart Stores has a one year low of $56.30 and a one year high of $75.19. The firm has a market cap of $212.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.79 and a beta of 0.20. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $71.77 and its 200 day moving average is $70.95.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The retailer reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $120.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $119.33 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 3.04% and a return on equity of 17.93%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.08 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,100,000 shares of the company’s 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 transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $482,118,555.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,504,756 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.37, for a total transaction of $250,134,435.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $481,646,154.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 51.55% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WMT. Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its position 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 purchased a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter worth $309,966,000. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter worth $260,853,000. State Street Corp raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 71,591,885 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $4,903,327,000 after buying an additional 1,726,468 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 24.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 7,418,449 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $541,665,000 after buying an additional 1,449,033 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 29.55% of the company’s stock.

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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