Guinness Asset Management Ltd grew its position in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 11.7% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 158,010 shares of the retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 16,560 shares during the period. Wal-Mart Stores makes up approximately 2.5% of Guinness Asset Management Ltd’s holdings, making the stock its 11th largest holding. Guinness Asset Management Ltd’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $11,958,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in WMT. Quotient Investors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores in the 1st quarter valued at about $594,000. Ledyard National Bank lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 303.3% in the 1st quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 18,130 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,307,000 after purchasing an additional 13,635 shares in the last quarter. Bollard Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 10.3% in the 1st quarter. Bollard Group LLC now owns 21,147 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,524,000 after purchasing an additional 1,969 shares in the last quarter. Johanson Financial Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores in the 1st quarter valued at about $322,000. Finally, Hengehold Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 9.7% in the 1st quarter. Hengehold Capital Management LLC now owns 28,640 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,064,000 after purchasing an additional 2,544 shares in the last quarter. 30.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) traded up 0.88% on Friday, reaching $80.38. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 13,317,757 shares. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 52 week low of $65.28 and a 52 week high of $81.99. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $79.86 and a 200 day moving average of $76.06. The stock has a market capitalization of $241.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.31 and a beta of 0.30.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.87% and a net margin of 2.60%. The firm had revenue of $123.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.86 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.07 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.38 EPS for the current year.

Several research firms recently commented on WMT. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $76.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. MKM Partners reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Stephens raised Wal-Mart Stores from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $78.00 to $91.00 in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $80.25.

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In related news, Director S Robson Walton sold 646,330 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.20, for a total transaction of $51,835,666.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $268,265,471.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total value of $37,942,321.68. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,048,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $804,288,343.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 7,948,971 shares of company stock valued at $628,583,326 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Wal-Mart Stores 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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