Traders purchased shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $136.43 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $61.67 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $74.76 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 7th highest net in-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded down ($0.49) for the day and closed at $80.01

WMT has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Cowen and Company set a $86.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. BidaskClub raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market weight” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) set a $84.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. 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 given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $80.25.

The stock has a market capitalization of $237.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.11 and a beta of 0.30. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $79.87 and a 200 day moving average of $76.28.

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

In related news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 1,652,342 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.35, for a total value of $131,113,337.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $535,499,823. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.44, for a total value of $10,427,276.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $269,068,260.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 7,948,971 shares of company stock valued at $628,583,326. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WMT. Winfield Associates Inc. boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% in the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $104,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares during the period. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $106,000 after purchasing an additional 696 shares during the period. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% in the second quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $108,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares during the period. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 1,252 shares during the period. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,847 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $139,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.19% 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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