Morningstar Investment Services LLC raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 177,707 shares of the retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,549 shares during the period. Morningstar Investment Services LLC’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $13,449,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Winfield Associates Inc. grew its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% during the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $104,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC grew its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% during the second quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $108,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% during the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $106,000 after purchasing an additional 696 shares during the last quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC grew its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 124.2% during the second quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 1,910 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $145,000 after purchasing an additional 1,058 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Grove Bank & Trust grew its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 49.8% during the second quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 2,015 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $152,000 after purchasing an additional 670 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.19% of the company’s stock.

In related news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 1,586 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total transaction of $125,294.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 21,125 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,668,875. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Jeffrey J. Gearhart sold 9,216 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.96, for a total value of $727,695.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492. 51.39% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

WMT has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Vetr downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $77.38 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $78.00 to $84.00 in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.77.

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Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) opened at 87.44 on Monday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $81.17 and a 200-day moving average price of $78.10. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 12 month low of $65.28 and a 12 month high of $87.45. The firm has a market capitalization of $261.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.01 and a beta of 0.29.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the 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 business had revenue of $123.40 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $121.86 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.07 EPS. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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

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