Advisors Asset Management Inc. decreased its position in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 22.1% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 33,845 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 9,592 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $2,561,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. State Street Corp grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 73,568,236 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,303,013,000 after buying an additional 854,010 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% in the 1st quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 10,040,766 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $723,738,000 after buying an additional 256,833 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,263,738 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $701,080,000 after buying an additional 174,296 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.3% in the 1st quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 8,594,967 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $619,457,000 after buying an additional 429,599 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,266,589 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $595,995,000 after buying an additional 99,921 shares during the period. 30.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE WMT) opened at 87.44 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $81.17 and its 200 day moving average is $78.10. The company has a market capitalization of $261.20 billion, a PE ratio of 21.01 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a one year low of $65.28 and a one year high of $87.45.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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 quarterly revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.07 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 1,586 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total transaction of $125,294.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 21,125 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,668,875. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total transaction of $37,942,321.68. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,048,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $804,288,343.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 9,924,828 shares of company stock worth $785,676,492 in the last ninety days. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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A number of brokerages recently weighed in on WMT. Vetr lowered shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $77.38 target price for the company. in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $78.00 to $84.00 in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Wal-Mart Stores currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.38.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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