Equities research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) will report earnings of $1.06 per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Nine analysts have provided estimates for Wal-Mart Stores’ earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.08 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.05. Wal-Mart Stores posted earnings of $1.07 per share during the same quarter last year, which suggests a negative year over year growth rate of 0.9%. The company is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, August 17th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will report full-year earnings of $4.36 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.30 to $4.48. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will report earnings of $4.59 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.48 to $4.79. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for Wal-Mart Stores.

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. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.79% and a return on equity of 16.96%. The firm had revenue of $116.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $117.01 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.98 EPS. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several analysts recently issued reports on WMT shares. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $76.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Citigroup Inc. set a $78.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. started coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $90.00 price target on the stock. Morningstar, Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Cowen and Company set a $86.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $78.86.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 81.59 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $245.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.53 and a beta of 0.29. The company’s 50-day moving average is $76.65 and its 200 day moving average is $73.67. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52 week low of $65.28 and a 52 week high of $81.86. Wal-Mart Stores also was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Investors acquired 5,107 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 351% compared to the average daily volume of 1,132 put options.

In other news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,576,324 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.65, for a total transaction of $202,627,882.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $530,775,817. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 1,322 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.75, for a total transaction of $104,107.50. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 23,854 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,878,502.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock valued at $1,816,131,604. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Dodge & Cox acquired a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter valued at $1,503,922,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 161.4% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 3,297,419 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $237,678,000 after buying an additional 2,035,800 shares during the period. Karp Capital Management Corp acquired a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter valued at $111,777,000. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 100.2% in the second quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 2,646,589 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $200,294,000 after buying an additional 1,324,722 shares during the period. Finally, Swiss National Bank raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 24.3% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 6,072,429 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $437,701,000 after buying an additional 1,188,400 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 30.09% of the company’s stock.

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About Wal-Mart Stores

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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