Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Stock Rating Upgraded by Goldman Sachs Group

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) was upgraded by stock analysts at Goldman Sachs Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratings reports.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Telsey Advisory Group decreased their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $108.00 to $96.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $83.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Moffett Nathanson assumed coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Monday, December 4th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co set a $101.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Nineteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $99.44.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) traded up $0.29 during trading on Thursday, reaching $104.59. 7,796,758 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,260,000. 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 company has a market capitalization of $309,840.00, a P/E ratio of 27.82, a PEG ratio of 4.13 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 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. The business had revenue of $122.14 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $120.23 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.98 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.44 earnings per share for the current year.

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

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, EVP John R. Furner sold 1,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total value of $119,148.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 48,757 shares in the company, valued at $4,841,082.53. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,900,679 shares of the company’s 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 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 in the last quarter. 51.39% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. V Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 29.8% in the fourth quarter. V Wealth Management LLC now owns 6,389 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $643,000 after purchasing an additional 1,465 shares during the period. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors bought a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores in the fourth quarter worth approximately $571,000. Personal Capital Advisors Corp lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.5% in the fourth quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp now owns 326,236 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $32,216,000 after buying an additional 16,969 shares in the last quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 16.7% in the fourth quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC now owns 9,640 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $952,000 after buying an additional 1,380 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hollencrest Capital Management lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 27.3% in the fourth quarter. Hollencrest Capital Management now owns 5,136 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $507,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.58% of the company’s stock.

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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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