News stories about Walmart (NYSE:WMT) have trended somewhat positive this week, InfoTrie Sentiment Analysis reports. The research firm ranks the sentiment of news coverage by analyzing more than 6,000 blog and news sources in real time. The firm ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative five to positive five, with scores nearest to five being the most favorable. Walmart earned a daily sentiment score of 1.69 on their scale. InfoTrie also assigned news stories about the retailer an news buzz score of 8 out of 10, indicating that recent news coverage is very likely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the next several days.

Here are some of the news stories that may have impacted Walmart’s ranking:

Walmart stock opened at $100.86 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 0.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $298.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.62 and a beta of 0.36. Walmart has a twelve month low of $81.78 and a twelve month high of $106.21.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 16th. The retailer reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $122.95 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $124.51 billion. Walmart had a net margin of 1.62% and a return on equity of 18.66%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.14 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Walmart will post 4.79 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 10th will be paid a $0.53 dividend. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 9th. Walmart’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.18%.

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $103.00 price objective on shares of Walmart in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Morgan Stanley set a $113.00 price objective on shares of Walmart and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 price objective on shares of Walmart in a report on Thursday, February 21st. Bank of America set a $120.00 price objective on shares of Walmart and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein raised shares of Walmart from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $101.80 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $107.13.

In other news, EVP Jacqueline P. Canney sold 980 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.03, for a total transaction of $97,049.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 54,588 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,405,849.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 1,139,696 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.72, for a total transaction of $113,650,485.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 14,255,221 shares of company stock valued at $1,407,521,976. Insiders own 51.11% of the company’s stock.

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Walmart Company Profile

Walmart Inc engages in the retail and wholesale operations in various formats worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. It operates supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, cash and carry stores, discount stores, drugstores, and convenience stores; membership-only warehouse clubs; e-commerce Websites, such as walmart.com, jet.com, shoes.com, and samsclub.com; and mobile commerce applications.

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