Traders sold shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) on strength during trading hours on Thursday. $150.79 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $256.77 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $105.98 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Wal-Mart Stores had the 5th highest net out-flow for the day. Wal-Mart Stores traded up $0.37 for the day and closed at $86.10

Several analysts recently issued reports on the company. KeyCorp reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. Vetr cut Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.69 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, June 19th. BidaskClub cut Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $84.00 target price (up from $80.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $83.11.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $79.80 and its 200 day moving average price is $77.45. The company has a market capitalization of $257.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.69 and a beta of 0.29.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $123.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.86 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.37 earnings per share for the current year.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related 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 transaction of $37,942,321.68. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 10,048,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $804,288,343.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 621,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.28, for a total transaction of $48,651,020.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $528,278,842.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.6% during the first quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 23,573 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,699,000 after purchasing an additional 1,039 shares during the last quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak raised its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% during the first quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak now owns 15,305 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,103,000 after purchasing an additional 386 shares during the last quarter. First Personal Financial Services raised its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.0% during the first quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 72,719 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,242,000 after purchasing an additional 3,434 shares during the last quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA raised its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% during the second quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 138,747 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $10,500,000 after purchasing an additional 1,994 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.0% during the first quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 809,413 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $58,342,000 after purchasing an additional 31,436 shares during the last quarter. 30.19% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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