Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT) Lowered to “Hold” at Vetr Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) was downgraded by stock analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday, May 8th. They presently have a $79.40 price objective on the retailer’s stock. Vetr‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 0.80% from the company’s previous close.

WMT has been the subject of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 11th. Bank of America Corp upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $76.00 to $88.00 in a report on Wednesday, February 22nd. Wells Fargo & Co started coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday, January 25th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $71.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on Wal-Mart Stores from $74.00 to $70.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Monday, January 23rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus initiated 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. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $77.54.

Analyst Recommendations for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) traded up 1.59% on Monday, hitting $78.77. 18,472,162 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $74.53 and a 200 day moving average price of $70.82. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12 month low of $65.28 and a 12 month high of $79.44. The company has a market cap of $239.07 billion, a PE ratio of 17.89 and a beta of 0.09.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $116.53 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $117.01 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.71% and a net margin of 2.98%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.98 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, December 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.51 per share. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 6th. Wal-Mart Stores’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 43.48%.

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In other news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,667,343 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.99, for a total transaction of $264,012,022.57. Following the sale, the insider now owns 10,507,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $756,408,072.73. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,000,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the insider now directly owns 10,507,127 shares in the company, valued at approximately $740,752,453.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 15,585,041 shares of company stock valued at $1,110,035,611 over the last 90 days. 51.55% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of WMT. Vantage Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the third quarter. Vantage Investment Advisors LLC now owns 2,118 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $153,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. Asset Planning Services Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.7% in the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,511 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the period. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the first quarter. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC now owns 3,661 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $264,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the period. Fort Point Capital Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the third quarter. Fort Point Capital Partners LLC now owns 4,663 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $336,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the period. Finally, Alexandria Capital LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.9% in the first quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 2,513 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $181,000 after buying an additional 22 shares during the period. 29.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WMT

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

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