Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Earns “Neutral” Rating from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating restated by equities research analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in a report released on Tuesday.

WMT has been the topic of several other reports. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $100.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, November 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. Vetr downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $91.97 target price on the stock. in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $90.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Nineteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $99.44.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) traded up $0.45 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $105.90. 8,218,570 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,270,000. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. The stock has a market capitalization of $313,720.00, a P/E ratio of 28.16, a P/E/G ratio of 4.14 and a beta of 0.37. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12-month low of $65.28 and a 12-month high of $106.14.

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 Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $122.14 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.98 earnings per share. analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.44 earnings per share for the current year.

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

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,057,004 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.69, for a total transaction of $198,891,716.76. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $652,520,200.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available 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 shares were sold at an average price of $97.82, for a total transaction of $283,744,419.78. Following the sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $660,146,095.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock valued at $1,207,333,538. Company 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. grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% in the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $104,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. grew its holdings in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $127,000. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.53% of the company’s stock.

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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)

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