Investors purchased shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) on weakness during trading on Thursday. $69.70 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $47.50 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $22.20 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 15th highest net in-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded down ($0.08) for the day and closed at $73.24

Several equities analysts have commented on WMT shares. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Sunday, May 22nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Monday, June 6th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $85.00 price objective (up from $82.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Barclays PLC reiterated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, June 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday, May 25th. Four 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 issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $69.12.

The company has a 50 day moving average of $72.68 and a 200 day moving average of $68.68. The company has a market capitalization of $227.42 billion and a P/E ratio of 16.13.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 19th. The retailer reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.10. The firm earned $115.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $112.68 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.03 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will post $4.26 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 1,450,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.39, for a total value of $103,515,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 478,158 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.60, for a total value of $34,236,112.80. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,987,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $142,312,446.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake 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 valued at $6,221,501,000 after buying an additional 2,355,751 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter valued at about $56,842,000. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 43.8% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,370,417 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $84,176,000 after buying an additional 417,153 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BHF Kleinwort Benson Group S.A. purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter valued at about $17,709,000.

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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