Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 5.1% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 23,740 shares of the retailer’s stock after buying an additional 1,147 shares during the period. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc.’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $1,711,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Fred Alger Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Fred Alger Management Inc. now owns 29,172 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,016,000 after buying an additional 599 shares in the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.0% in the first quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 809,413 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $58,342,000 after buying an additional 31,436 shares in the last quarter. Cohen Lawrence B raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the first quarter. Cohen Lawrence B now owns 6,050 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $436,000 after buying an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 3,251,918 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $224,773,000 after buying an additional 35,845 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Highfields Capital Management LP acquired a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth $69,120,000. 30.15% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE WMT) opened at 76.15 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $229.55 billion, a PE ratio of 17.29 and a beta of 0.28. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $76.69 and a 200-day moving average of $72.87. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a one year low of $65.28 and a one year high of $80.47.

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

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WMT has been the topic of several research reports. Vetr raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $75.31 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 27th. Gordon Haskett initiated coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $90.00 target price on the stock. Robert W. Baird set a $85.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 31st. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on Wal-Mart Stores from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, May 8th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $73.00 to $82.00 in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $78.11.

In related news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,576,324 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.65, for a total value of $202,627,882.60. Following the sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $530,775,817. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total transaction of $1,972,127.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock worth $1,816,131,604. 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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