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

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 79.09 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $79.36 and its 200 day moving average price is $76.96. The stock has a market capitalization of $236.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.00 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores has a one year low of $65.28 and a one year high of $81.99.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.87% and a net margin of 2.60%. The business had revenue of $123.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.86 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.37 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director S Robson Walton sold 2,117,863 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.45, for a total value of $166,146,352.35. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $262,411,798.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total value of $37,942,321.68. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 10,048,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $804,288,343.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.6% during the first quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 23,573 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,699,000 after acquiring an additional 1,039 shares in the last quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak lifted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% during the first quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak now owns 15,305 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,103,000 after acquiring an additional 386 shares in the last quarter. First Personal Financial Services lifted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.0% during the first quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 72,719 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,242,000 after acquiring an additional 3,434 shares in the last quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA lifted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% during the second quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 138,747 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $10,500,000 after acquiring an additional 1,994 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. lifted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.0% during the first quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 809,413 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $58,342,000 after acquiring an additional 31,436 shares in the last quarter. 30.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on WMT. KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. Vetr downgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.69 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, June 19th. BidaskClub downgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $81.44.

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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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