Traders purchased shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) on weakness during trading on Thursday. $136.43 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $61.67 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $74.76 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 7th highest net in-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded down ($0.49) for the day and closed at $80.01

Several analysts have issued reports on WMT shares. Morgan Stanley set a $77.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, May 29th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $75.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, May 29th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, May 29th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Monday, May 29th. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $85.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 31st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Wal-Mart Stores presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $80.25.

The company has a market capitalization of $237.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.29 and a beta of 0.30. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $79.87 and its 200 day moving average is $76.28.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $123.40 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.07 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.37 EPS for the current year.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, 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 completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,048,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $804,288,343.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total transaction of $1,972,127.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 7,948,971 shares of company stock valued at $628,583,326. 51.39% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WMT. Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 4.0% in the 1st quarter. Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank now owns 3,520 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $254,000 after purchasing an additional 134 shares during the period. Wagner Bowman Management Corp boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.8% in the 1st quarter. Wagner Bowman Management Corp now owns 9,392 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $677,000 after purchasing an additional 347 shares during the period. Loeb Partners Corp boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 114.3% in the 1st quarter. Loeb Partners Corp now owns 15,000 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,081,000 after purchasing an additional 8,000 shares during the period. Hollencrest Securities LLC boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.2% in the 1st quarter. Hollencrest Securities LLC now owns 3,036 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $218,000 after purchasing an additional 66 shares during the period. Finally, Patriot Wealth Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.0% in the 1st quarter. Patriot Wealth Management Inc. now owns 54,085 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $3,898,000 after purchasing an additional 1,051 shares during the period. 30.19% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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