Investors Sell Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT) on Strength on Insider Selling

Investors sold shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) on strength during trading hours on Monday after an insider sold shares in the company. $57.66 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $73.69 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $16.03 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 26th highest net out-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded up $0.09 for the day and closed at $69.98Specifically, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 4,375,337 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.79, for a total transaction of $314,105,443.23. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,507,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $754,306,647.33. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Rosalind G. Brewer sold 32,350 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.32, for a total transaction of $2,210,152.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 245,328 shares in the company, valued at $16,760,808.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 15,617,391 shares of company stock worth $1,112,245,763 over the last three months. 51.55% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several research firms recently commented on WMT. Instinet reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $81.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, December 20th. Cowen and Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $83.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Wednesday, February 22nd. Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.85 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 19th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 22nd. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares Inc began coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Friday, February 10th. They issued a “positive” rating and a $80.00 price objective on the stock. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $74.85.

The stock has a market capitalization of $214.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.98 and a beta of 0.09. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $69.19 and its 200 day moving average is $69.87.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 21st. The retailer reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $129.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $130.22 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.71% and a net margin of 2.98%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up .8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.49 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores Inc 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. Investors of record on Friday, December 8th will be paid a $0.51 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 6th. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.92%. Wal-Mart Stores’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.48%.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WMT. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. acquired a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter worth approximately $104,000. BKS Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter worth approximately $110,000. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 worth $114,000 after buying an additional 112,511 shares during the last quarter. Piershale Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.3% in the third quarter. Piershale Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,612 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nelson Roberts Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 worth $118,000 after buying an additional 351 shares during the last quarter. 29.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

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