Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has been assigned a $72.00 price target by RBC Capital Markets in a research note issued on Friday. The brokerage presently has a a “sell” rating on the retailer’s stock. RBC Capital Markets’ price target suggests a potential upside of 4.06% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on WMT. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $77.00 price objective (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley set a $73.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Vetr cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $76.24 price objective for the company. in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Jefferies Group set a $85.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $71.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, August 15th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $74.82.

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

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) traded down 0.585% during trading on Friday, reaching $68.785. 3,793,304 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $69.73 and a 200 day moving average of $71.09. The firm has a market capitalization of $212.77 billion, a PE ratio of 14.808 and a beta of 0.10. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $58.32 and a 1-year high of $75.19.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 17th. The retailer reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.02. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 3.04% and a return on equity of 17.93%. The firm earned $118.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $118.69 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.03 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast 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 the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.46, for a total transaction of $78,606.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 29,464 shares in the company, valued at $2,105,497.44. The transaction was disclosed in a legal 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 on 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 sale, the insider now owns 10,507,127 shares of the company’s stock, 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 have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.8% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 41,912,723 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $3,022,746,000 after buying an additional 1,910,016 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.7% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 20,297,797 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,463,878,000 after buying an additional 348,391 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.2% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 19,932,903 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,437,561,000 after buying an additional 623,646 shares in the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 15,071,579 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,086,962,000 after buying an additional 179,166 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 6.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 12,473,382 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $899,580,000 after buying an additional 780,232 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.96% 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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