Brokerages forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) will post $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Nine analysts have issued estimates for Wal-Mart Stores’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.93 to $0.99. Wal-Mart Stores reported earnings of $0.98 per share during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year-over-year growth rate of 1%. The business is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th.

On average, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will report full year earnings of $4.38 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.30 to $4.48. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $4.60 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.48 to $4.79. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of research firms that follow Wal-Mart Stores.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. The company had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $121.86 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.07 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of research firms have commented on WMT. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $76.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Citigroup Inc. lifted their target price on Wal-Mart Stores from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 15th. MKM Partners reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, August 15th. Stephens raised Wal-Mart Stores from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $78.00 to $91.00 in a report on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Wal-Mart Stores currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $80.25.

In related news, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.44, for a total value of $10,427,276.32. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at $269,068,260.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 775,958 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.24, for a total value of $62,262,869.92. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 10,507,224 shares in the company, valued at $843,099,653.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 16,228,588 shares of company stock worth $1,287,662,056 over the last quarter. 51.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of WMT. Private Bank & Trust Co. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.3% in the first quarter. Private Bank & Trust Co. now owns 21,112 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,521,000 after buying an additional 1,060 shares in the last quarter. Prospera Financial Services Inc increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 19.1% in the first quarter. Prospera Financial Services Inc now owns 28,255 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,035,000 after buying an additional 4,525 shares in the last quarter. Alpha Windward LLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% in the first quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 11,785 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $849,000 after buying an additional 169 shares in the last quarter. Stokes & Hubbell Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 9.3% in the first quarter. Stokes & Hubbell Capital Management LLC now owns 7,672 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $553,000 after buying an additional 651 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lathrop Investment Management Corp increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 6.2% in the first quarter. Lathrop Investment Management Corp now owns 122,276 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $8,814,000 after buying an additional 7,103 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.00% of the company’s stock.

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Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) traded up 0.37% on Friday, reaching $78.63. 9,902,189 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $236.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.89 and a beta of 0.29. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $78.55 and its 200 day moving average is $75.09. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52 week low of $65.28 and a 52 week high of $81.99.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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