North Star Investment Management Corp. raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 6.7% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 9,074 shares of the retailer’s stock after buying an additional 571 shares during the period. North Star Investment Management Corp.’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $654,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Asset Planning Services Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.7% in the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,511 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 6,777.8% in the fourth quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 114,171 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 112,511 shares in the last quarter. Sunbelt Securities Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter valued at $125,000. High Point Bank & Trust Co. boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 71.9% in the fourth quarter. High Point Bank & Trust Co. now owns 1,960 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 820 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter valued at $177,000. 30.14% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE WMT) opened at 74.84 on Monday. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 12 month low of $65.28 and a 12 month high of $80.47. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $77.62 and a 200-day moving average price of $72.14. The company has a market cap of $225.61 billion, a PE ratio of 16.99 and a beta of 0.30.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $116.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.01 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.96% and a net margin of 2.79%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.98 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Vetr cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $77.38 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $75.54 price target (down from $88.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Thursday. BidaskClub cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $81.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Sunday, June 11th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $77.93.

In related news, Director S Robson Walton sold 3,000,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.25, for a total transaction of $237,750,000.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $265,087,763. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 1,322 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.75, for a total value of $104,107.50. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 23,854 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,878,502.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 22,980,991 shares of company stock worth $1,814,159,476 in the last three months. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Wal-Mart Stores Company Profile

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units in various formats around the world. The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club. The Walmart U.S. segment includes its mass merchant concept in the United States operating under the Walmart or Wal-Mart brands, as well as digital retail.

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