Headlines about Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) have trended somewhat positive on Tuesday, according to Accern Sentiment. The research firm identifies negative and positive press coverage by monitoring more than twenty million news and blog sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Wal-Mart Stores earned a daily sentiment score of 0.13 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned headlines about the retailer an impact score of 45.14317646337 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the next several days.

Here are some of the news stories that may have impacted Accern’s analysis:

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) traded up 0.98% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $79.22. The company had a trading volume of 7,936,742 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $236.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.03 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $65.28 and a 1-year high of $81.99. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $79.41 and a 200 day moving average of $76.94. Wal-Mart Stores also saw unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Stock traders acquired 5,107 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 351% compared to the average volume of 1,132 put options.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. The business had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $121.86 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.07 EPS. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.37 EPS for the current year.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on WMT. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) set a $84.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Cowen and Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $86.00 price target (up from $83.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Monday, June 5th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada set a $74.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $80.78.

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In related news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 1,586 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total value of $125,294.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 21,125 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,668,875. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 2,117,863 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.45, for a total value of $166,146,352.35. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $262,411,798.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock worth $785,676,492 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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