Investors sold shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) on strength during trading hours on Monday following insider selling activity. $57.66 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $73.69 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $16.03 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded up $0.09 for the day and closed at $69.98Specifically, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 4,375,337 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.79, for a total value of $314,105,443.23. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,507,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $754,306,647.33. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Rosalind G. Brewer sold 32,350 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.32, for a total transaction of $2,210,152.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 245,328 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,760,808.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 15,617,391 shares of company stock valued at $1,112,245,763 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 51.55% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday, December 28th. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc began coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Friday, February 10th. They set a “positive” rating and a $80.00 price objective for the company. MKM Partners set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, February 18th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 21st. Finally, Bank of America Corp reissued a “buy” rating and set a $88.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, March 14th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $74.85.

The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $69.19 and a 200 day moving average price of $69.87. The company has a market capitalization of $214.49 billion, a PE ratio of 15.98 and a beta of 0.09.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 21st. The retailer reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.29 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.71% and a net margin of 2.98%. The firm had revenue of $129.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $130.22 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.49 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores Inc will post $4.32 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be paid a $0.51 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 6th. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.92%. Wal-Mart Stores’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 43.48%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Dodge & Cox purchased a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,503,922,000. DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main bought a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter valued at about $274,739,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company bought a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter valued at about $262,122,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 58.0% in the third quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 9,776,421 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $705,075,000 after buying an additional 3,588,060 shares during the period. Finally, Two Sigma Advisers LP bought a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter valued at about $237,230,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.69% 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 operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club. The Walmart U.S. segment includes its mass merchant concept in the United States operating under the Walmart or Wal-Mart brands, as well as digital retail.

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