Equities analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) will post sales of $121.06 billion for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Nine analysts have issued estimates for Wal-Mart Stores’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $118.86 billion to $122.41 billion. Wal-Mart Stores reported sales of $118.18 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 2.4%. The company is scheduled to announce its next earnings report before the market opens on Thursday, November 16th.

On average, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will report full-year sales of $121.06 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $490.98 billion to $499.38 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the business will report sales of $509.73 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $498.99 billion to $513.66 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Wal-Mart Stores.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. The firm had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $121.86 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $96.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc reaffirmed a “positive” rating and issued a $99.00 target price (up from $93.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Monday, October 16th. BMO Capital Markets set a $91.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $91.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $85.00 target price (up from $79.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.77.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.44, for a total transaction of $10,427,276.32. Following the sale, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $269,068,260.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 1,586 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total transaction of $125,294.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 21,125 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,668,875. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock worth $785,676,492. 51.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.6% during the 1st 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 during the period. Security National Bank of SO Dak grew its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak now owns 15,305 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,103,000 after buying an additional 386 shares in the last quarter. First Personal Financial Services grew its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.0% during the 1st quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 72,719 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,242,000 after buying an additional 3,434 shares in the last quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA grew its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 138,747 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $10,500,000 after buying an additional 1,994 shares in the last quarter. Finally, British Columbia Investment Management Corp grew its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 35.8% during the 1st quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 795,766 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $57,359,000 after buying an additional 209,619 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.16% of the company’s stock.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) opened at 88.65 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $81.46 and a 200-day moving average of $78.32. The company has a market capitalization of $264.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.30 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $65.28 and a 1-year high of $88.92.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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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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Earnings History and Estimates for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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