Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) had its price objective hoisted by equities researchers at Morgan Stanley from $90.00 to $92.00 in a report issued on Friday. The firm currently has an “equal weight” rating on the retailer’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s target price would indicate a potential downside of 7.65% from the stock’s previous close.

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Citigroup Inc. lifted their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $84.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Friday, August 18th. Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $100.00 price objective (up previously from $95.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG set a $88.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $89.27.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) opened at $99.62 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $268,340.38, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.60, a P/E/G ratio of 3.35 and a beta of 0.34. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12 month low of $65.28 and a 12 month high of $99.68. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 0.18 and a current ratio of 0.78.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $122.14 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 9.20% and a net margin of 1.55%. The firm’s revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.98 EPS. analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 621,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.28, for a total transaction of $48,651,020.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $528,278,842.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 2,117,863 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.45, for a total transaction of $166,146,352.35. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $262,411,798.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492. Company insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WMT. Winfield Associates Inc. boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% in the 2nd quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the period. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% in the 1st quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 696 shares during the period. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% in the 2nd quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% in the 2nd quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 1,252 shares during the period. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC boosted its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,847 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the period. 30.12% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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