Traders sold shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) on strength during trading hours on Thursday. $141.88 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $182.30 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $40.42 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 10th highest net out-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded up $0.34 for the day and closed at $80.87

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on WMT shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Gordon Haskett started coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. They set a “buy” rating and a $90.00 price target for the company. Vetr raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.40 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Saturday, May 13th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $78.80.

The company has a market cap of $243.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.30 and a beta of 0.28. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $76.55 and its 200-day moving average is $73.51.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.04. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.79% and a return on equity of 16.96%. The firm had revenue of $116.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.01 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.98 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.36 EPS for the current year.

In other news, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total value of $1,972,127.85. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,576,324 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.65, for a total transaction of $202,627,882.60. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $530,775,817. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 23,006,720 shares of company stock worth $1,816,131,604 over the last three months. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 791.2% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 461,792 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $31,917,000 after buying an additional 409,974 shares during the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth about $1,380,000. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth about $663,000. Archford Capital Strategies LLC boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 3.8% in the fourth quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 35,659 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,464,000 after buying an additional 1,309 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Independent Advisor Alliance purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth about $623,000. 30.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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 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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