Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was downgraded by research analysts at TheStreet from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on WMT. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price objective on Wal-Mart Stores from $73.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Morgan Stanley set a $76.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $75.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Buckingham Research reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. Finally, Stephens set a $73.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 19th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $74.96.

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

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 68.54 on Thursday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12 month low of $56.36 and a 12 month high of $75.19. The company has a market cap of $212.01 billion, a PE ratio of 14.76 and a beta of 0.10. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $69.88 and a 200-day moving average of $71.04.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 17th. The retailer reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $118.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $118.69 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.71% and a net margin of 2.98%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.03 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.34 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Steven P. Whaley sold 1,100 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.46, for a total transaction of $78,606.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 29,464 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,105,497.44. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,142,846 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.41, for a total value of $227,573,478.86. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $488,664,677.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 51.55% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Piershale Financial Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.3% in the third quarter. Piershale Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,612 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the last quarter. Vantage Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the third quarter. Vantage Investment Advisors LLC now owns 2,118 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $153,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. Gemmer Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the second quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 2,902 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $212,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the period. WealthTrust Arizona LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.5% in the third quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 2,549 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $184,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the period. Finally, Wellington Shields & Co. LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the third quarter. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC now owns 3,646 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $263,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the period. 29.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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