Investors sold shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) on strength during trading on Thursday. $71.30 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $130.43 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $59.13 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 10th highest net out-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded up $0.04 for the day and closed at $80.12

WMT has been the topic of several research reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) set a $84.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 17th. Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.40 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, May 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of 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 report on Friday, May 19th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $80.25.

The stock has a 50 day moving average of $79.54 and a 200 day moving average of $75.75. The company has a market capitalization of $241.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.25 and a beta of 0.30. Wal-Mart Stores also was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors purchased 5,107 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 351% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,132 put options.

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

In related news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 775,958 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.24, for a total transaction of $62,262,869.92. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 10,507,224 shares in the company, valued at approximately $843,099,653.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.44, for a total transaction of $10,427,276.32. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $269,068,260.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 9,296,629 shares of company stock worth $735,219,988 in the last quarter. 51.39% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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

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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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