Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in the month of June. As of June 15th, there was short interest totalling 36,130,216 shares, a growth of 11.8% from the May 31st total of 32,330,406 shares. Approximately 2.5% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 8,992,123 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.0 days.

In related news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 1,322 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.75, for a total value of $104,107.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 23,854 shares in the company, valued at $1,878,502.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider David Chojnowski sold 5,142 shares of the firm’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. Insiders sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock valued at $1,816,131,604 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Glassman Wealth Services boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 68.3% in the first quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 1,471 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 597 shares during the period. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 696 shares during the period. Asset Planning Services Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.7% in the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,511 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the period. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 187.2% in the first quarter. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC now owns 1,620 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 1,056 shares during the period. Finally, Paragon Capital Management Ltd bought a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter worth about $201,000. 30.14% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

WMT has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $88.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, March 14th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 21st. Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $75.31 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, March 27th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $73.00 to $82.00 in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. Wal-Mart Stores has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $77.93.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) opened at 75.68 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $77.53 and its 200-day moving average is $72.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $228.14 billion, a PE ratio of 17.18 and a beta of 0.30. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52-week low of $65.28 and a 52-week high of $80.47.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $116.53 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.01 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.96% and a net margin of 2.79%. Wal-Mart Stores’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.98 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.36 earnings per share for the current year.

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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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