Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Upgraded at Goldman Sachs Group

Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, Marketbeat.com reports.

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on WMT. Robert W. Baird set a $90.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a neutral rating and issued a $84.00 price target (up from $80.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Oppenheimer assumed coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. They issued a buy rating and a $90.00 price target on the stock. Bank of America set a $100.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Jefferies Group raised their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $93.00 to $97.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Nineteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $99.44.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) opened at $104.59 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $309,840.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.82, a P/E/G ratio of 4.12 and a beta of 0.37. Wal-Mart Stores has a fifty-two week low of $65.28 and a fifty-two week high of $104.94. The company has a quick ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $122.14 billion during 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%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.98 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.44 EPS for the current year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its board has approved a share buyback program 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 programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of Wal-Mart Stores 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 sale, the insider now owns 19,060 shares in the company, valued at $1,848,629.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 1,319,133 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.61, for a total value of $128,760,572.13. Following the sale, the insider now owns 11,057,224 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,079,295,634.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock worth $1,207,333,538 in the last quarter. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Winfield Associates Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% during the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% during the second quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% during the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 1,252 shares during the last quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% during the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,847 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 124.2% during the second quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 1,910 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $145,000 after buying an additional 1,058 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.58% of the company’s stock.

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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 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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