Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus in a research report issued on Wednesday. They presently have a $85.00 price target on the retailer’s stock, up from their previous price target of $79.00. Stifel Nicolaus’ price target would suggest a potential upside of 1.03% from the stock’s previous close.

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Citigroup Inc. boosted 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. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $84.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Friday, August 18th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated an “underperform” rating and set a $77.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC boosted their target price on Wal-Mart Stores from $93.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $82.91.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) traded up 1.99% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $85.80. The stock had a trading volume of 10,269,711 shares. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12-month low of $65.28 and a 12-month high of $86.19. The company has a market cap of $256.30 billion, a PE ratio of 20.63 and a beta of 0.29. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $79.46 and a 200-day moving average of $77.32.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 company had revenue of $123.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $121.86 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.07 EPS. Wal-Mart Stores’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.37 EPS for the current year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the retailer to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 1,586 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total transaction of $125,294.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 21,125 shares in the company, valued at $1,668,875. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the insider now owns 10,048,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $804,288,343.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492 in the last quarter. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WMT. Winfield Associates Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% during the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the period. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC lifted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $106,000 after purchasing an additional 696 shares during the period. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC lifted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% in the second quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $108,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares during the period. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. lifted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 1,252 shares during the period. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC lifted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,847 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $139,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.19% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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