Investors bought shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) on weakness during trading hours on Friday. $136.83 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $53.79 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $83.04 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 16th highest net in-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded down ($0.03) for the day and closed at $73.67

A number of research firms recently weighed in on WMT. Royal Bank Of Canada started coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Monday, May 2nd. They set an “underperform” rating and a $66.00 price objective for the company. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Sunday, May 22nd. Robert W. Baird reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Sunday, May 22nd. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Monday, May 16th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, May 19th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-three have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $69.02.

The stock has a market capitalization of $229.60 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.28. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $71.91 and its 200-day moving average price is $67.90.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 19th. The retailer reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.10. The firm earned $115.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $112.68 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.03 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will post $4.26 EPS for the current year.

In related news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 1,450,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.39, for a total value of $103,515,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 971,842 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.29, for a total transaction of $69,282,616.18. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,987,604 shares in the company, valued at approximately $141,696,289.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in 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 period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position 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 last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position 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 last quarter. Green Valley Investors LLC boosted its position 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 last quarter. Finally, LSV Asset Management boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 41.5% in the fourth quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 2,247,260 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $137,757,000 after buying an additional 658,792 shares during the last quarter.

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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