Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) shares fell 0.2% on Friday . The company traded as low as $73.24 and last traded at $73.39, with a volume of 3,724,550 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $73.53.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on WMT. Royal Bank Of Canada began coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Monday, May 2nd. They set an “underperform” rating and a $66.00 price objective on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, May 19th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and set a $70.00 price objective (up from $61.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Wednesday, March 30th. Nomura Holdings Inc. set a $70.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 28th. Finally, Independent Research GmbH set a $72.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, May 23rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have assigned a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.02.

The company has a market capitalization of $230.13 billion and a PE ratio of 16.32. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $71.45 and a 200 day moving average price of $67.53.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 19th. The retailer reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $115.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $112.68 billion. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.03 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will post $4.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director S Robson Walton sold 478,158 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.60, for a total transaction of $34,236,112.80. Following the transaction, the director now owns 1,987,604 shares in the company, valued at $142,312,446.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Rosalind G. Brewer sold 10,794 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.65, for a total value of $773,390.10. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 285,749 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,473,915.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in WMT. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 101,492,685 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $6,221,501,000 after buying an additional 2,355,751 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 6,981,125 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $427,943,000 after buying an additional 191,907 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 39.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,836,543 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $357,803,000 after buying an additional 1,654,378 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 3,800,864 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $232,992,000 after buying an additional 155,993 shares during the period. Finally, Green Valley Investors LLC boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 6.7% in the fourth quarter. Green Valley Investors LLC now owns 3,200,000 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $196,160,000 after buying an additional 200,000 shares during the period.

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’s operations are conducted in three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club.

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