Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has been given a $72.00 price target by research analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage presently has a a “neutral” rating on the retailer’s stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s price target points to a potential upside of 4.80% from the company’s current price.

WMT has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Jefferies Group set a $86.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 4th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $77.00 price target (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Royal Bank Of Canada decreased their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $76.00 to $75.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday. Buckingham Research reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. Finally, Vetr lowered Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $76.24 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $75.46.

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

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 68.70 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $212.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.79 and a beta of 0.20. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $71.77 and a 200-day moving average price of $70.95. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $56.30 and a 1-year high of $75.19.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The retailer reported $1.07 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.05. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.93% and a net margin of 3.04%. The firm had revenue of $120.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $119.33 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.08 EPS. The company’s revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,142,846 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.41, for a total value of $227,573,478.86. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $488,664,677.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,504,756 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.37, for a total value of $250,134,435.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $481,646,154.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 51.55% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.2% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 608,983 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $41,709,000 after buying an additional 24,292 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 12.9% in the second quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 3,788,062 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $276,603,000 after buying an additional 431,780 shares during the last quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.1% in the second quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 621,749 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $45,400,000 after buying an additional 13,017 shares during the last quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 33.7% in the first quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,692,255 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $115,903,000 after buying an additional 426,436 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Natixis boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 110.1% in the first quarter. Natixis now owns 726,406 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $49,752,000 after buying an additional 380,610 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.55% of the company’s stock.

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 offers an assortment of merchandise and services at everyday low prices (EDLP). The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WMT

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