Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock traders acquired 5,107 put options on the company. This is an increase of 351% compared to the average daily volume of 1,132 put options.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on WMT shares. Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.40 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $67.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, May 2nd. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and increased their target price for the company from $63.00 to $80.00 in a report on Friday, May 19th. KeyCorp reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $90.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 11th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $78.33.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) opened at 78.90 on Thursday. Wal-Mart Stores has a one year low of $65.28 and a one year high of $80.47. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $76.46 and a 200-day moving average price of $73.13. The firm has a market capitalization of $237.84 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.92 and a beta of 0.28.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $116.53 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $117.01 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.96% and a net margin of 2.79%. The company’s revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.98 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.36 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director S Robson Walton sold 1,618,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.22, for a total transaction of $129,820,026.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $268,332,370.32. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,278,735 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total transaction of $259,020,065.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 10,507,224 shares in the company, valued at $830,070,696. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 23,006,720 shares of company stock valued at $1,816,131,604 over the last three months. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WMT. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 73,568,236 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,303,013,000 after buying an additional 854,010 shares during the period. Dodge & Cox acquired a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth $1,503,922,000. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 10,040,766 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $723,738,000 after buying an additional 256,833 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.6% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,089,442 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $655,167,000 after buying an additional 399,273 shares during the period. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 23.7% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 8,810,593 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $608,988,000 after buying an additional 1,689,794 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.16% of the company’s stock.

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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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