Citigroup upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, December 19th, MarketBeat Ratings reports. They currently have $117.00 price target on the retailer’s stock, up from their previous price target of $106.00.
Several other research firms also recently weighed in on WMT. CIBC lowered their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $100.00 to $90.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Telsey Advisory Group lowered their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $108.00 to $96.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a report on Friday, November 17th. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from an underperform rating to a sector perform rating and set a $96.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, November 29th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $87.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $96.71 target price for the company in a report on Monday, November 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Wal-Mart Stores has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $97.09.
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) traded up $0.35 on Tuesday, reaching $100.02. 6,537,622 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,570,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a current ratio of 0.81. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1 year low of $65.28 and a 1 year high of $102.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $296,300.00, a P/E ratio of 26.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.69 and a beta of 0.37.
Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, October 10th that authorizes the company to buyback $20.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 826,617 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.39, for a total transaction of $79,677,612.63. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,345,065 shares in the company, valued at $322,430,815.35. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.99, for a total transaction of $200,284.35. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 19,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,848,629.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock valued at $1,207,333,538. 51.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 105,673,654 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $7,997,381,000 after acquiring an additional 440,343 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 45.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,982,372 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,360,906,000 after acquiring an additional 5,608,785 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 14,804,523 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,156,909,000 after acquiring an additional 224,821 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.9% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,263,738 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $701,080,000 after acquiring an additional 174,296 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.5% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,919,633 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $696,979,000 after acquiring an additional 45,217 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.58% of the company’s stock.
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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