Morgan Stanley set a $90.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has a neutral rating on the retailer’s stock.
WMT has been the topic of several other reports. KeyCorp restated a buy rating and issued a $90.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Wal-Mart Stores from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 17th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a neutral rating and issued a $84.00 target price (up from $80.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company restated a hold rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $86.65.
Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at $90.92 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $269,744.38, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.71, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.37 and a beta of 0.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, a current ratio of 0.78 and a quick ratio of 0.18. Wal-Mart Stores has a one year low of $65.28 and a one year high of $91.69.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.87% and a net margin of 2.60%. The business’s revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.37 EPS for the current year.
Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.44, for a total transaction of $10,427,276.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $269,068,260.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,000,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.47, for a total value of $158,940,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $536,309,652.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492 in the last ninety days. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% during 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. State Street Corp raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 73,568,236 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,303,013,000 after purchasing an additional 854,010 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 45.3% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,982,372 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,360,906,000 after purchasing an additional 5,608,785 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.1% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 14,579,702 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,103,426,000 after purchasing an additional 580,373 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 10,040,766 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $723,738,000 after purchasing an additional 256,833 shares during the last quarter. 30.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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