Wal-Mart Stores Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Traders bought 28,068 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 226% compared to the typical volume of 8,614 call options.
WMT has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Sunday, June 4th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.40 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, May 15th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated an “underperform” rating and set a $63.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, April 7th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein set a $75.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, May 29th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $78.46.
In related news, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total transaction of $1,972,127.85. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider David Chojnowski sold 5,142 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 19th. The stock was 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 90 days, insiders sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock valued at $1,816,131,604. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WMT. Fred Alger Management Inc. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Fred Alger Management Inc. now owns 29,172 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,016,000 after buying an additional 599 shares during the period. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.0% in the first quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 809,413 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $58,342,000 after buying an additional 31,436 shares during the period. Cohen Lawrence B increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the first quarter. Cohen Lawrence B now owns 6,050 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $436,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 3,251,918 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $224,773,000 after buying an additional 35,845 shares during the period. Finally, Highfields Capital Management LP bought a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth approximately $69,120,000. Institutional investors own 30.16% of the company’s stock.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 79.78 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $240.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.12 and a beta of 0.28. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12 month low of $65.28 and a 12 month high of $80.47. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $76.48 and its 200 day moving average is $73.18.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 company had revenue of $116.53 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $117.01 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.98 EPS. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.36 earnings per share for the current year.
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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