Investors Sell Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) on Strength After Analyst Downgrade
Traders sold shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) on strength during trading on Wednesday after BMO Capital Markets lowered their price target on the stock from $67.00 to $63.00. $70.02 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $149.78 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $79.76 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 4th highest net out-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded up $0.07 for the day and closed at $67.46
A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on WMT. Buckingham Research reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday, August 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $75.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, August 19th. Morgan Stanley set a $76.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, August 19th. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their target price on Wal-Mart Stores from $73.00 to $76.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 19th. Finally, Stephens set a $73.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 19th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $74.93.
In other news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.44, for a total transaction of $150,024,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $482,118,555.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,504,756 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.37, for a total value of $250,134,435.72. Following the sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $481,646,154.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 51.55% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Icon Advisers Inc. Co. purchased a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter worth approximately $767,000. CIBC World Markets Inc. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 27.3% in the first quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 217,896 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $14,924,000 after buying an additional 46,673 shares during the last quarter. Raab & Moskowitz Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.4% in the first quarter. Raab & Moskowitz Asset Management LLC now owns 6,783 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $464,000 after buying an additional 221 shares during the last quarter. Middleton & Co Inc MA increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 718.5% in the first quarter. Middleton & Co Inc MA now owns 35,132 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,406,000 after buying an additional 30,840 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hyman Charles D purchased a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter worth approximately $1,291,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 29.55% of the company’s stock.
The company has a 50 day moving average price of $71.48 and a 200-day moving average price of $70.97. The stock has a market capitalization of $208.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.52 and a beta of 0.20.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 18th. The retailer reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $120.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $119.33 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 3.04% and a return on equity of 17.93%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.08 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will post $4.34 earnings per share for the current year.
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.
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