Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) dropped 0.7% during 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 analyst reports. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $66.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, May 9th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “sell” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, May 10th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective (up from $82.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Morgan Stanley set a $63.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, May 9th. Finally, Northcoast Research lowered Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-four have assigned a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Wal-Mart Stores presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.15.

The firm’s 50 day moving average is $73.41 and its 200-day moving average is $69.62. The stock has a market cap of $226.50 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.064.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted 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 business earned $115.90 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $112.68 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.03 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will post $4.27 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 971,842 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 sale, the director now directly owns 1,987,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $141,696,289.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 1,450,000 shares of Wal-Mart Stores 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WMT. PVG Asset Management purchased a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter valued at $5,108,000. Cheviot Value Management LLC boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.8% in the fourth quarter. Cheviot Value Management LLC now owns 103,362 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $6,336,000 after buying an additional 3,797 shares during the last quarter. CORDA Investment Management LLC. boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 17.9% in the fourth quarter. CORDA Investment Management LLC. now owns 246,127 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $15,087,000 after buying an additional 37,443 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 734.5% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 6,379,113 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $391,040,000 after buying an additional 5,614,652 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Montag A & Associates Inc. boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Montag A & Associates Inc. now owns 48,571 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,977,000 after buying an additional 2,600 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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