Howard Capital Management maintained its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 5,590 shares of the retailer’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Howard Capital Management’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $423,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. increased its stake in 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. British Columbia Investment Management Corp increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 35.8% in the first quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 795,766 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $57,359,000 after buying an additional 209,619 shares in the last quarter. Davis R M Inc. bought a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter worth about $249,000. Cohen Lawrence B increased its stake in 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. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in 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. 30.09% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE WMT) traded down 0.006% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $80.655. 4,289,133 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $243.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.314 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 52-week low of $65.28 and a 52-week high of $81.99. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $77.30 and its 200-day moving average price is $74.05. Wal-Mart Stores also was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday. Investors acquired 59,526 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 408% compared to the typical daily volume of 11,715 call options.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating 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 firm had revenue of $116.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.01 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.98 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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A number of analysts have recently issued reports on WMT shares. Vetr raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.40 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, May 15th. Jefferies Group LLC lifted their target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $86.00 to $88.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 12th. Gordon Haskett initiated coverage on shares of 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. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Saturday, May 13th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $79.40.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,221,265 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.54, for a total value of $256,219,418.10. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $536,782,053.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 1,618,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.22, for a total transaction of $129,820,026.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $268,332,370.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock worth $1,816,131,604 in the last ninety days. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by corporate 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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