Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) issued an update on its fourth quarter earnings guidance on Thursday morning. The company provided earnings per share guidance of $1.18-1.33 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate of $1.32.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) opened at 69.19 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $69.80 and its 200-day moving average is $71.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $214.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.90 and a beta of 0.10. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has a 52 week low of $58.32 and a 52 week high of $75.19.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its earnings results 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. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.93% and a net margin of 3.04%. The firm had revenue of $118.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $118.69 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.03 EPS. The business’s revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will post $4.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on WMT. Barclays PLC reiterated an overweight rating and set a $82.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Sunday, November 13th. Vetr lowered Wal-Mart Stores from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $77.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, November 8th. BMO Capital Markets restated a sell rating and issued a $63.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Friday, November 4th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, October 24th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. assumed coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Friday, October 21st. They issued a neutral rating and a $73.00 price objective on the stock. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $75.04.

In other news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,504,756 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $481,646,154.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.44, for a total value of $150,024,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $482,118,555.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 51.55% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. LPL Financial LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.6% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 7,289 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $523,000 after buying an additional 386 shares during the last quarter. Greenwood Gearhart Inc. raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 58.3% in the third quarter. Greenwood Gearhart Inc. now owns 122,014 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $8,800,000 after buying an additional 44,943 shares during the last quarter. Balentine LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.5% in the third quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 4,706 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $339,000 after buying an additional 22 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 45.0% in the third quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 46,528 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,355,000 after buying an additional 14,439 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cognios Capital LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 20.8% in the third quarter. Cognios Capital LLC now owns 22,442 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,618,000 after buying an additional 3,862 shares during the last quarter. 29.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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