Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $72.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in a research report released on Tuesday morning. The brokerage currently has a a neutral rating on the retailer’s stock.

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on WMT. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $73.00 to $76.00 and gave the company an underperform rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Jefferies Group set a $85.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a neutral rating and set a $72.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Saturday, June 25th. Telsey Advisory Group raised their target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $71.00 to $78.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $76.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. Wal-Mart Stores has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $74.93.

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

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 67.39 on Tuesday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52 week low of $56.30 and a 52 week high of $75.19. The company has a market capitalization of $208.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.51 and a beta of 0.20. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $71.48 and its 200 day moving average is $70.97.

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

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, insider Steven P. Whaley sold 1,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.46, for a total value of $78,606.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 29,464 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,105,497.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,502,398 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.02, for a total transaction of $255,745,101.96. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,507,127 shares in the company, valued at approximately $767,230,413.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 51.55% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 7.2% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 377,826 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $25,877,000 after buying an additional 25,497 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 30.2% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 1,031,777 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $70,666,000 after buying an additional 239,298 shares in the last quarter. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% in the first quarter. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas now owns 27,285 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,869,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.4% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. now owns 592,292 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $40,566,000 after buying an additional 30,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Virginia Retirement System acquired a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter valued at about $33,916,000. 29.55% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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