Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) has been assigned a $85.00 price target by Macquarie in a report issued on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a “neutral” rating on the retailer’s stock. Macquarie’s target price points to a potential downside of 18.50% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on WMT. Stephens set a $117.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday. Goldman Sachs Group set a $115.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $114.00 price target for the company in a report on Saturday, January 13th. Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $96.71 price target for the company in a report on Monday, November 27th. Finally, UBS Group set a $100.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Eighteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Wal-Mart Stores currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $99.44.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) traded up $1.60 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $104.30. 12,301,210 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,170,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.19. The firm has a market capitalization of $308,980.00, a PE ratio of 27.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.98 and a beta of 0.37. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $65.28 and a 1-year high of $104.94.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.97 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $122.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.98 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.44 EPS for the current year.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.99, for a total value of $200,284.35. Following the sale, the insider now owns 19,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,848,629.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,900,679 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.82, for a total transaction of $283,744,419.78. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $660,146,095.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock worth $1,207,333,538 over the last three months. 51.39% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Syntal Capital Partners LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 888.6% in the fourth quarter. Syntal Capital Partners LLC now owns 37,934 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,745,000 after acquiring an additional 34,097 shares during the period. Oakbrook Investments LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 32.6% in the fourth quarter. Oakbrook Investments LLC now owns 31,143 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,075,000 after acquiring an additional 7,650 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 15.7% in the fourth quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 872,217 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $86,132,000 after acquiring an additional 118,252 shares during the period. Sterling Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 7.8% in the fourth quarter. Sterling Investment Management Inc. now owns 20,957 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,070,000 after acquiring an additional 1,523 shares during the period. Finally, Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 15.2% in the fourth quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 160,862 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $15,885,000 after acquiring an additional 21,224 shares during the period. 30.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

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