According to Zacks, “Share price of Wal-Mart has been rising since the past one year, higher than the Zacks categorized industry. Wal-Mart also reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 results, driven by higher comparable store sales, despite deflationary pressure hurting the profits. However, both earnings and revenues declined from the year-ago quarter, due to unfavorable currency and higher investments in wages and e-commerce activities. Further, the decline in the International business was more than offset by growth in sales at Wal-Mart U.S and Sam’s Club divisions. Nevertheless, we are encouraged that the company is focusing on ways to drive traffic. The three acquisitions in 2017 are in line with the company’s efforts to grow its online activities. The end of Shipping Pass and announcement of free two-day shipping service will also make the company competitive against Amazon.”
A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on WMT. Nomura set a $81.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, November 21st. Vetr downgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $73.85 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, December 13th. Instinet reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $81.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, December 20th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Wednesday, December 28th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $75.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Wednesday, December 28th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $74.85.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 69.61 on Tuesday. Wal-Mart Stores has a one year low of $62.72 and a one year high of $75.19. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $69.70 and its 200-day moving average price is $69.81. The company has a market cap of $213.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.89 and a beta of 0.09.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 21st. The retailer reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.71% and a net margin of 2.98%. The business had revenue of $129.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $130.22 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.49 EPS. The company’s revenue was up .8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be given a $0.51 dividend. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.93%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 6th. Wal-Mart Stores’s payout ratio is 43.48%.
In other news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,000,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.50, for a total value of $211,500,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,507,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $740,752,453.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Rosalind G. Brewer sold 32,350 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.32, for a total value of $2,210,152.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 245,328 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,760,808.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 15,617,391 shares of company stock valued at $1,112,245,763. Corporate insiders own 51.55% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. bought a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter valued at approximately $104,000. BKS Advisors LLC bought a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter valued at approximately $110,000. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 6,777.8% in the fourth quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 114,171 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 112,511 shares during the last quarter. Piershale Financial Group Inc. raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.3% in the third quarter. Piershale Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,612 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nelson Roberts Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 27.2% in the third quarter. Nelson Roberts Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,643 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 351 shares during the last quarter. 29.69% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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