Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $73.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in a report issued on Friday. The firm currently has a neutral rating on the retailer’s stock.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Macquarie set a $61.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, October 4th. Guggenheim began coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Friday, September 30th. They issued a buy rating and a $82.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut Wal-Mart Stores from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 24th. Barclays PLC reiterated an overweight rating and issued a $82.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Sunday, November 13th. Finally, Buckingham Research set a $70.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, September 28th. 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 stock. Wal-Mart Stores currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $74.96.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) traded up 0.80% on Friday, hitting $69.09. 2,686,638 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $69.70 and its 200 day moving average is $71.12. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52 week low of $58.32 and a 52 week high of $75.19. The firm has a market capitalization of $213.71 billion, a PE ratio of 14.87 and a beta of 0.10.

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

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,504,756 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $481,646,154.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,142,846 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.41, for a total value of $227,573,478.86. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $488,664,677.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 51.55% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Babson Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.4% in the first quarter. Babson Capital Management LLC now owns 99,975 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $6,847,000 after buying an additional 2,300 shares during the last quarter. Peconic Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter worth approximately $5,137,000. Squarepoint Ops LLC boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 100.8% in the first quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC now owns 103,700 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $7,102,000 after buying an additional 52,064 shares during the last quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 45.1% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 207,508 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $14,223,000 after buying an additional 64,450 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AIMZ Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.1% in the first quarter. AIMZ Investment Advisors LLC now owns 21,822 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,495,000 after buying an additional 235 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 29.88% 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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