Investors sold shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) on strength during trading hours on Tuesday. $43.81 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $65.78 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $21.97 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 19th highest net out-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded up $0.81 for the day and closed at $79.18

A number of brokerages have recently commented on WMT. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $76.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, August 4th. MKM Partners restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Stephens upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $78.00 to $91.00 in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Wal-Mart Stores has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $80.25.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $79.31 and its 200 day moving average price is $75.69. The firm has a market capitalization of $240.04 billion, a PE ratio of 19.17 and a beta of 0.30. Wal-Mart Stores also was the target of unusually large options trading on Monday. Traders acquired 5,107 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 351% compared to the average daily volume of 1,132 put options.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $123.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.87% and a net margin of 2.60%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.07 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.37 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 2,117,863 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.45, for a total value of $166,146,352.35. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $262,411,798.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of the company’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. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 12,575,364 shares of company stock valued at $994,240,053. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 105,673,654 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $7,997,381,000 after purchasing an additional 440,343 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 73,568,236 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,303,013,000 after acquiring an additional 854,010 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 45.3% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,982,372 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,360,906,000 after acquiring an additional 5,608,785 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.1% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 14,579,702 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,103,426,000 after acquiring an additional 580,373 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. grew its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 10,040,766 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $723,738,000 after acquiring an additional 256,833 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 29.93% 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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