Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating reissued by stock analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co in a report issued on Friday. They presently have a $84.00 price target on the retailer’s stock, up from their previous price target of $80.00. J P Morgan Chase & Co’s target price indicates a potential upside of 6.33% from the company’s previous close.

Several other research firms have also issued reports on WMT. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $76.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Citigroup Inc. raised their target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. MKM Partners restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Stephens upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the company from $78.00 to $91.00 in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $81.58.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) traded down 0.52% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $79.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,245,797 shares. The firm has a market cap of $235.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.98 and a beta of 0.29. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $79.32 and a 200-day moving average price of $76.98. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52 week low of $65.28 and a 52 week high of $81.99.

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

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In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.44, for a total value of $10,427,276.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $269,068,260.64. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total transaction of $37,942,321.68. Following the completion of the transaction, 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 have sold a total of 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492 in the last three months. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 105,673,654 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $7,997,381,000 after acquiring an additional 440,343 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 73,568,236 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,303,013,000 after acquiring an additional 854,010 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 45.3% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,982,372 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,360,906,000 after acquiring an additional 5,608,785 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 14,579,702 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,103,426,000 after acquiring an additional 580,373 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% in the 1st quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 10,040,766 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $723,738,000 after acquiring an additional 256,833 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.19% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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