Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) updated its FY17 earnings guidance on Thursday. The company provided earnings per share guidance of $4.20-4.35 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate of $4.33. Wal-Mart Stores also updated its Q4 guidance to $1.18-1.33 EPS.

Several research firms have commented on WMT. Deutsche Bank AG restated a hold rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. Buckingham Research restated a neutral rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a neutral rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Friday, September 9th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Wal-Mart Stores from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 24th. Finally, Vetr upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $73.70 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, September 7th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $75.04.

Earnings History and Estimates for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) opened at 71.39 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $220.83 billion, a PE ratio of 15.37 and a beta of 0.10. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has a 12-month low of $58.32 and a 12-month high of $75.19. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $69.80 and a 200 day moving average of $71.11.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 17th. The retailer reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96 by $0.02. The firm earned $118.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $118.69 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 3.04% and a return on equity of 17.93%. The business’s revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.03 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will post $4.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Steven P. Whaley sold 1,100 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.46, for a total transaction of $78,606.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 29,464 shares in the company, valued at $2,105,497.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,502,398 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.02, for a total transaction of $255,745,101.96. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 10,507,127 shares in the company, valued at $767,230,413.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 51.55% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Logan Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 15.9% in the second quarter. Logan Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,841 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $427,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. National Pension Service boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 12.3% in the second quarter. National Pension Service now owns 887,354 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $64,795,000 after buying an additional 97,538 shares during the period. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 8.0% in the second quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 29,800 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,176,000 after buying an additional 2,200 shares during the period. Bellecapital International Ltd. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 39.9% in the second quarter. Bellecapital International Ltd. now owns 7,225 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $528,000 after buying an additional 2,060 shares during the period. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.8% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,317,299 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $242,229,000 after buying an additional 151,755 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 29.96% 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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