Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. began coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in a report released on Wednesday. The firm issued an outperform rating and a $90.00 target price on the retailer’s stock. Oppenheimer Holdings also issued estimates for Wal-Mart Stores’ Q2 2018 earnings at $1.06 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $0.98 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $1.32 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $4.36 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $1.05 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $1.11 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $1.03 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.38 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $4.57 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $4.88 EPS.

“fresher than it’s been in years.”Walmart is in the early stages of developing what could prove to be a “model” omni-channel structure, the analyst explained. For instance, the acquisition of Jet.com is just one of many “meaningful step forward” to solidify its status a “proven industry innovator” with many “unique capabilities.” So far, there are early encouraging signs of growth in the online channel as gross merchandise volume accelerated to 69 percent on a year-over-year basis.Meanwhile, Walmart isn’t neglecting its physical stores and has many initiatives ahead to spur growth, including:Online grocery shopping and collect in store.Two-day shipping with a $35 minimum from stores.Home delivery experiments.Also, improving food inflation trends could help boost top-line growth.Finally, the entrance of the Germany-based budget grocery chain Lidl to the U.S. market shouldn’t cause investors to worry. Walmart was able to respond very aggressively to sustain its market position through pricing and merchandising fronts.”In our view, WMT, more than many other leading chains, now recognizes an opportunity to leverage the key attributes that fuel its dominance in physical retail, in the digital world and increasingly go ‘toe to toe’ with eCommerce leaders such as amazon.com,,” the firm’s analyst commented.

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Vetr raised Wal-Mart Stores from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $79.40 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised Wal-Mart Stores from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $82.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a sell rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, May 2nd. BMO Capital Markets raised Wal-Mart Stores from an underperform rating to a market perform rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $63.00 to $80.00 in a research report on Friday, May 19th. Finally, KeyCorp reissued an overweight rating and set a $90.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Wal-Mart Stores presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $78.86.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) opened at 80.48 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $76.55 and its 200-day moving average price is $73.51. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52 week low of $65.28 and a 52 week high of $81.40. The firm has a market cap of $242.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.27 and a beta of 0.29.

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

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In other Wal-Mart Stores news, insider David Chojnowski sold 5,142 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.36, for a total transaction of $408,069.12. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,576,324 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.65, for a total value of $202,627,882.60. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $530,775,817. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock worth $1,816,131,604. Company insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Edgemoor Investment Advisors Inc. increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.3% in the second quarter. Edgemoor Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 7,654 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $579,000 after buying an additional 24 shares in the last quarter. RiverPoint Capital Management LLC increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 20.9% in the second quarter. RiverPoint Capital Management LLC now owns 5,627 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $426,000 after buying an additional 971 shares in the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 20.5% in the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 699,032 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $52,902,000 after buying an additional 118,684 shares in the last quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.9% in the second quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. now owns 423,533 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $32,053,000 after buying an additional 3,944 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pzena Investment Management LLC increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the second quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 5,134,336 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $388,567,000 after buying an additional 19,298 shares in the last quarter. 30.12% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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