Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Investors bought 5,107 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 351% compared to the typical volume of 1,132 put options.

A number of brokerages have commented on WMT. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Sunday. KeyCorp restated a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday. MKM Partners restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “market weight” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, Cowen and Company set a $86.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $80.25.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) opened at 80.50 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $79.87 and its 200-day moving average is $76.28. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12 month low of $65.28 and a 12 month high of $81.99. The company has a market capitalization of $240.47 billion, a PE ratio of 20.54 and a beta of 0.30.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.86 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.38 EPS for the current year.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.44, for a total transaction of $10,427,276.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at $269,068,260.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total transaction of $1,972,127.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 7,948,971 shares of company stock valued at $628,583,326. Corporate insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter worth $185,000. Frontier Investment Mgmt Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter worth $12,983,000. W. E. Donoghue & Co. LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter worth $2,149,000. Intl Fcstone Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter worth $542,000. Finally, Griffin Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter worth $7,274,000. Institutional investors own 30.19% of the company’s stock.

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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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