Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Estimates have been declining since past 30 days period after Wal-Mart reported its second quarter fiscal 2017 results. While both earnings and revenues exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate, unfavorable currency and higher investments in wages and e-commerce activities took a toll on the company’s results. Encouragingly, Wal-Mart is focused on its building its e-commerce capabilities, as evidenced by its recent deal with JD.com in China and Jet.com acquisition in the U.S. The company has also raised its earnings guidance to reflect the Jet.com acquisition. However, huge investments in e-commerce initiatives and higher wages to its workers and training them are increasing the expense burden. The recent move to raise the minimum salary for entry-level store managers will also add to the costs. This along with unfavorable currency will remain headwinds.”
WMT has been the topic of a number of other reports. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 11th. Vetr lowered shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $75.25 target price on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $75.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 4th. Jefferies Group set a $86.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 22nd. Finally, Macquarie set a $61.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 4th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $75.38.
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Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) traded up 0.1517% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $68.3235. 952,499 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52-week low of $56.30 and a 52-week high of $75.19. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $71.07 and its 200-day moving average price is $70.96. The stock has a market cap of $211.34 billion, a PE ratio of 14.7090 and a beta of 0.20.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The retailer reported $1.07 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.05. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 3.04% and a return on equity of 17.93%. The company had revenue of $120.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $119.33 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.34 EPS for the current year.
In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,502,398 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.02, for a total transaction of $255,745,101.96. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,507,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $767,230,413.54. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,100,000 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.44, for a total transaction of $150,024,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $482,118,555.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 51.55% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vigilant Capital Management LLC increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 1,270.0% in the second quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,370 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 1,270 shares during the period. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management acquired a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter valued at approximately $100,000. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter valued at approximately $106,000. Seven Eight Capital LLC acquired a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter valued at approximately $111,000. Finally, Piershale Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.6% in the second quarter. Piershale Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,607 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the period. 29.56% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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 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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