CenturyLink Investment Management Co reduced its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 6.8% in the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 39,665 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 2,916 shares during the quarter. Wal-Mart Stores makes up approximately 1.0% of CenturyLink Investment Management Co’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 16th largest position. CenturyLink Investment Management Co’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $3,002,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.6% in the first quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 23,573 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,699,000 after acquiring an additional 1,039 shares during the period. Security National Bank of SO Dak lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% during the first quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak now owns 15,305 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,103,000 after buying an additional 386 shares during the last quarter. First Personal Financial Services lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.0% during the first quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 72,719 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,242,000 after buying an additional 3,434 shares during the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.0% during the first quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 809,413 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $58,342,000 after buying an additional 31,436 shares during the last quarter. Finally, British Columbia Investment Management Corp lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 35.8% during the first quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 795,766 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $57,359,000 after buying an additional 209,619 shares during the last quarter. 30.19% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 1,652,342 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $535,499,823. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 646,330 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.20, for a total value of $51,835,666.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $268,265,471.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 7,948,971 shares of company stock valued at $628,583,326. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have commented on WMT shares. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, May 29th. Robert W. Baird set a $85.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 31st. Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.17 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 7th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Finally, 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. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $80.25.

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Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE WMT) traded down 0.60% during trading on Friday, hitting $79.53. The stock had a trading volume of 5,755,262 shares. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 12-month low of $65.28 and a 12-month high of $81.99. The firm has a market cap of $237.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.11 and a beta of 0.30. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $79.87 and a 200 day moving average of $76.28.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 analyst estimates of $121.86 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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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