Acropolis Investment Management LLC lowered its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) by 1.8% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 36,336 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 648 shares during the period. Wal-Mart Stores makes up about 0.5% of Acropolis Investment Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 24th largest position. Acropolis Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $2,619,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in WMT. Dodge & Cox purchased a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,503,922,000. DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main purchased a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $274,739,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company purchased a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter valued at approximately $262,122,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 58.0% in the third quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 9,776,421 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $705,075,000 after buying an additional 3,588,060 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Two Sigma Advisers LP purchased a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter valued at approximately $237,230,000. 29.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) opened at 74.80 on Friday. The company’s 50 day moving average is $71.29 and its 200 day moving average is $69.86. The stock has a market cap of $226.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.08 and a beta of 0.09. Wal-Mart Stores Inc has a 52 week low of $62.72 and a 52 week high of $75.19. Wal-Mart Stores also was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Investors bought 35,280 call options on the company. This is an increase of 383% compared to the average volume of 7,309 call options.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 21st. The retailer reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.98% and a return on equity of 17.71%. The firm had revenue of $129.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $130.22 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.49 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up .8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores Inc will post $4.32 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, December 8th will be given a dividend of $0.51 per share. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 6th. Wal-Mart Stores’s payout ratio is presently 43.48%.
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Several analysts recently weighed in on WMT shares. Bank of America Corp reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $88.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, March 14th. Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday, January 19th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $70.00 target price for the company. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday, January 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 21st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $64.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 15th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. Wal-Mart Stores has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $75.33.
In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 4,375,337 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.79, for a total value of $314,105,443.23. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,507,127 shares in the company, valued at $754,306,647.33. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,667,343 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.99, for a total transaction of $264,012,022.57. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 10,507,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $756,408,072.73. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 15,585,041 shares of company stock worth $1,110,035,611 over the last ninety days. 51.55% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
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.
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