Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 38,935,872 shares, a growth of 11.8% from the February 15th total of 34,812,249 shares. Approximately 2.5% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 24,129,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.6 days.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Comerica Securities Inc. lifted its position in shares of Walmart by 0.3% during the second quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. now owns 18,079 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,368,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Trustco Bank Corp N Y lifted its position in shares of Walmart by 0.5% during the second quarter. Trustco Bank Corp N Y now owns 11,258 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $852,000 after purchasing an additional 55 shares in the last quarter. Roberts Glore & Co. Inc. IL lifted its position in shares of Walmart by 0.5% during the second quarter. Roberts Glore & Co. Inc. IL now owns 11,983 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $907,000 after purchasing an additional 55 shares in the last quarter. WMS Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Walmart by 0.7% during the second quarter. WMS Partners LLC now owns 10,019 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $758,000 after purchasing an additional 65 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Keating Investment Counselors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Walmart by 1.3% during the second quarter. Keating Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 5,493 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $416,000 after purchasing an additional 69 shares in the last quarter. 30.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on WMT shares. Citigroup raised shares of Walmart from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $106.00 to $117.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Walmart from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Barclays boosted their price target on shares of Walmart to $120.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, January 26th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $101.00 price target on shares of Walmart and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Walmart from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $117.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, February 21st. Nineteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $102.40.

Walmart (WMT) opened at $87.67 on Thursday. Walmart has a 1 year low of $69.33 and a 1 year high of $109.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.76 and a quick ratio of 0.20. The company has a market cap of $259,710.00, a PE ratio of 27.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.11 and a beta of 0.57.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The retailer reported $1.33 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $135.15 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $133.63 billion. Walmart had a net margin of 1.97% and a return on equity of 16.85%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.30 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Walmart will post 4.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 7th will be given a dividend of $0.52 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 6th. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.37%. Walmart’s dividend payout ratio is presently 65.00%.

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About Walmart

Walmart Inc, formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units in various formats around the world. The Company offers an assortment of merchandise and services at everyday low prices (EDLP). The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club.

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