Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)‘s stock had its “positive” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Susquehanna Bancshares Inc in a research report issued on Monday. They presently have a $99.00 price target on the retailer’s stock, up from their previous price target of $93.00. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc’s price objective points to a potential upside of 14.29% from the company’s previous close.

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $84.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $75.54 price target (down previously from $88.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $84.11.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) traded down 1.67% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $85.17. 4,517,223 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $80.08 and a 200 day moving average price of $77.67. The firm has a market capitalization of $254.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.46 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12-month low of $65.28 and a 12-month high of $86.95.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.07 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, October 10th that authorizes the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 646,330 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.20, for a total transaction of $51,835,666.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $268,265,471.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total transaction of $37,942,321.68. Following the transaction, the insider now directly 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 ninety days, insiders have sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock worth $785,676,492. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services lifted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 18.5% during the third quarter. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services now owns 35,126 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,745,000 after purchasing an additional 5,494 shares in the last quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. lifted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 8.8% during the third quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 20,510 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,602,000 after purchasing an additional 1,652 shares in the last quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.4% during the third quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 20,752 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,622,000 after purchasing an additional 872 shares in the last quarter. Perpetual Ltd lifted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 6.5% during the second quarter. Perpetual Ltd now owns 14,852 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,124,000 after purchasing an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC purchased a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter valued at $185,000. 30.19% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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