Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) shares dropped 0.7% during mid-day trading on Monday . The company traded as low as $73.31 and last traded at $73.34, with a volume of 3,365,561 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $73.89.

WMT has been the subject of a number of research reports. Nomura set a $70.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 28th. Royal Bank Of Canada began coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Monday, May 2nd. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $66.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley set a $63.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, May 9th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $55.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, May 10th. Finally, Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $72.75 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, May 16th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-four have issued a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.01.

The stock has a market cap of $228.51 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.21. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $73.37 and its 200 day moving average price is $69.57.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 19th. The retailer reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.88 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $115.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $112.68 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.03 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will post $4.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 1,450,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Rosalind G. Brewer sold 10,794 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.65, for a total transaction of $773,390.10. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 285,749 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,473,915.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Moors & Cabot Inc. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 18,659 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,137,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Boltwood Capital Management increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Boltwood Capital Management now owns 19,494 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,195,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Parsons Capital Management Inc. RI increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Parsons Capital Management Inc. RI now owns 19,717 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,209,000 after buying an additional 416 shares during the last quarter. Meridian Investment Counsel Inc. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. Meridian Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 25,040 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,535,000 after buying an additional 705 shares during the last quarter. Finally, SVA Plumb Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 422.9% in the fourth quarter. SVA Plumb Wealth Management LLC now owns 25,354 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,554,000 after buying an additional 20,505 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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