Commonwealth Equity Services Inc boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 1.8% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 397,705 shares of the retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 7,085 shares during the quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $31,076,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of WMT. Advisors Management Group Inc. ADV bought a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Caldwell & Orkin Inc. bought a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $1,391,000. Marble Harbor Investment Counsel LLC raised its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.8% during the 3rd quarter. Marble Harbor Investment Counsel LLC now owns 53,126 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $4,151,000 after buying an additional 1,450 shares during the period. First Dallas Securities Inc. raised its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 74.5% during the 3rd quarter. First Dallas Securities Inc. now owns 9,255 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $723,000 after buying an additional 3,951 shares during the period. Finally, Commerce Bank raised its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.3% during the 3rd quarter. Commerce Bank now owns 249,638 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $19,507,000 after buying an additional 3,130 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.58% of the company’s stock.
Several analysts recently weighed in on WMT shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, January 6th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $101.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. Jefferies Group set a $105.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “neutral” rating and set a $84.00 price target (up previously from $80.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Bank of America set a $100.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Eighteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $99.01.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $122.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.92% and a net margin of 2.31%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.98 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post 4.43 EPS for the current year.
Wal-Mart Stores declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, insider Gregory S. Foran sold 52,793 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.86, for a total transaction of $5,113,529.98. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 121,457 shares in the company, valued at $11,764,325.02. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP John R. Furner sold 1,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total value of $119,148.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 48,757 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,841,082.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock worth $1,207,333,538. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.
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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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