Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has been given a $86.00 price objective by stock analysts at Cowen and Company in a report issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a “buy” rating on the retailer’s stock. Cowen and Company’s target price points to a potential upside of 5.41% from the company’s current price.

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on WMT. KeyCorp reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $90.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Wednesday, April 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. MKM Partners reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $77.00 target price (up previously from $72.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Wednesday, April 26th. Pacific Crest lowered Wal-Mart Stores to a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, April 30th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $67.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, May 2nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $78.86.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) opened at 81.59 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $76.65 and a 200 day moving average price of $73.67. The stock has a market cap of $245.95 billion, a PE ratio of 18.53 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52 week low of $65.28 and a 52 week high of $81.86. Wal-Mart Stores also saw unusually large options trading on Monday. Investors bought 5,107 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 351% compared to the average daily volume of 1,132 put options.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $116.53 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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 revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.98 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.36 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 1,157,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.06, for a total value of $90,354,450.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $526,794,154.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total value of $1,972,127.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock worth $1,816,131,604. 51.39% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WMT. ARGI Investment Services LLC boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.6% in the second quarter. ARGI Investment Services LLC now owns 19,572 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,472,000 after buying an additional 688 shares in the last quarter. Covington Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.6% in the second quarter. Covington Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 13,930 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,054,000 after buying an additional 610 shares in the last quarter. Wesbanco Bank Inc. boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.9% in the second quarter. Wesbanco Bank Inc. now owns 50,638 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $3,833,000 after buying an additional 1,432 shares in the last quarter. Good Life Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 119.9% in the second quarter. Good Life Advisors LLC now owns 15,512 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,135,000 after buying an additional 8,458 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Motco boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 8.8% in the second quarter. Motco now owns 46,654 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $3,531,000 after buying an additional 3,785 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.09% of the company’s stock.

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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