Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program, which allows the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares on Tuesday, October 10th, EventVestor reports. This repurchase authorization allows the retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) traded up 1.27% on Wednesday, reaching $85.20. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,753,275 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $79.46 and its 200-day moving average price is $77.32. The stock has a market cap of $254.51 billion, a PE ratio of 20.48 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12-month low of $65.28 and a 12-month high of $85.45.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate 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 for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $121.86 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.07 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.38 EPS for the current year.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on WMT shares. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $81.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $88.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Vetr upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $90.92 target price for the company in a report on Thursday, June 15th. BidaskClub downgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. 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 issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $82.91.

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In other news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 621,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.28, for a total value of $48,651,020.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $528,278,842.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total value of $37,942,321.68. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 10,048,580 shares in the company, valued at $804,288,343.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock worth $785,676,492. Company insiders own 51.39% 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.

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