Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Wal-Mart reported mixed quarterly numbers for third-quarter fiscal 2017, wherein earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues missed the same. The top line succumbed to a negative surprise after beating estimates in the trailing two quarters. Decline in international revenues has been  a major concern for Wal-Mart for quite some time now. In the first and second quarters of fiscal 2017, international revenues declined 7.2% and 6.6%, respectively. In third-quarter fiscal 2017, segment net sales, including fuel sales, dropped 4.8% year over year to $28.4 billion. Nevertheless, Wal-Mart is focused on its building its e-commerce capabilities, as evident from its recent deal with JD.com in China. In fact, Wal-Mart is aggressively foraying into e-commerce in China with an aim to deliver goods from its stores around the world to Chinese consumers within hours. The Jet.com acquisition in the U.S. also fuelled growth.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Macquarie set a $61.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, October 4th. Guggenheim began coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Friday, September 30th. They issued a buy rating and a $82.00 target price on the stock. Barclays PLC reissued an overweight rating and issued a $82.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Sunday, November 13th. Buckingham Research set a $70.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 28th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $73.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $74.96.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) traded up 0.70% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $70.61. 1,306,564 shares of the company traded hands. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12 month low of $58.32 and a 12 month high of $75.19. The company’s 50 day moving average is $69.54 and its 200-day moving average is $71.19. The stock has a market capitalization of $218.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.20 and a beta of 0.10.

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

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,504,756 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.37, for a total transaction of $250,134,435.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $481,646,154.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Steven P. Whaley sold 1,100 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.46, for a total value of $78,606.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 29,464 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,105,497.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company 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. Compass Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.9% in the second quarter. Compass Capital Management Inc. now owns 274,940 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $20,076,000 after buying an additional 2,552 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 12.9% in the second quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 3,788,062 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $276,603,000 after buying an additional 431,780 shares in the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.0% in the second quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 1,582,960 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $115,588,000 after buying an additional 45,683 shares in the last quarter. KLCM Advisors Inc. raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 8.3% in the second quarter. KLCM Advisors Inc. now owns 159,417 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $11,641,000 after buying an additional 12,211 shares in the last quarter. Finally, British Columbia Investment Management Corp raised its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.1% in the second quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 621,749 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $45,400,000 after buying an additional 13,017 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.88% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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