Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $77.94 target price on the retailer’s stock. Vetr‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 13.45% from the company’s current price.

Several other research firms also recently issued reports on WMT. Buckingham Research reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $75.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Morgan Stanley set a $76.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price objective on Wal-Mart Stores from $73.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Finally, Stephens set a $73.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $75.46.

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

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 68.70 on Thursday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52-week low of $56.30 and a 52-week high of $75.19. 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 company’s 50-day moving average price is $71.77 and its 200-day moving average price is $70.95.

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

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, insider Steven P. Whaley sold 1,100 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.46, for a total value of $78,606.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 29,464 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,105,497.44. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,142,846 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.41, for a total value of $227,573,478.86. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $488,664,677.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 51.55% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WMT. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 71,591,885 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $4,903,327,000 after buying an additional 1,726,468 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 19,309,257 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,409,962,000 after buying an additional 297,217 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.1% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 13,570,247 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $927,651,000 after buying an additional 284,071 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.9% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,319,158 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $607,461,000 after buying an additional 389,425 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 8.4% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 8,146,797 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $594,878,000 after buying an additional 629,728 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 29.55% of the company’s stock.

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 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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