Analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) will announce $122.73 billion in sales for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Eight analysts have provided estimates for Wal-Mart Stores’ earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $121.66 billion and the highest is $124.29 billion. Wal-Mart Stores reported sales of $120.85 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 1.6%. The firm is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, August 17th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will report full year sales of $122.73 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $491.56 billion to $497.69 billion. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will post sales of $507.70 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $500.37 billion to $511.19 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of research analysts that follow Wal-Mart Stores.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.04. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.79% and a return on equity of 16.96%. The firm had revenue of $116.53 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.01 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.98 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis.

Several brokerages recently commented on WMT. Cowen and Company reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $86.00 target price (up from $83.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Monday, June 5th. Vetr downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $82.17 target price on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, June 1st. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Sunday, June 4th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $81.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $88.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $77.93.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 3,000,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.25, for a total transaction of $237,750,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $265,087,763. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider David Chojnowski sold 5,142 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.36, for a total transaction of $408,069.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 22,980,991 shares of company stock worth $1,814,159,476. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Seaward Management Limited Partnership boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 11.0% in the first quarter. Seaward Management Limited Partnership now owns 35,577 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,564,000 after buying an additional 3,522 shares in the last quarter. Ballentine Partners LLC boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 6.4% in the first quarter. Ballentine Partners LLC now owns 13,039 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $941,000 after buying an additional 783 shares in the last quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 29.9% in the first quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC now owns 40,243 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,883,000 after buying an additional 9,256 shares in the last quarter. Gilbert & Cook Inc. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.1% in the first quarter. Gilbert & Cook Inc. now owns 6,909 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $498,000 after buying an additional 270 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Community Trust & Investment Co. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 13.2% in the first quarter. Community Trust & Investment Co. now owns 6,225 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $449,000 after buying an additional 725 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.14% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 74.84 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $77.62 and a 200-day moving average of $72.14. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $65.28 and a 1-year high of $80.47. The company has a market capitalization of $225.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.99 and a beta of 0.30.

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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