Griffin Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund acquired 96,118 shares of the retailer’s stock, valued at approximately $7,274,000. Wal-Mart Stores makes up approximately 1.9% of Griffin Asset Management Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 12th biggest position.

Other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.5% in the 2nd quarter. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. now owns 8,067 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $611,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 23.1% in the 2nd quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 2,095,792 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $158,610,000 after buying an additional 393,180 shares in the last quarter. Numeric Investors LLC raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 31.2% in the 2nd quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 1,179,674 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $89,278,000 after buying an additional 280,430 shares in the last quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 138,747 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $10,500,000 after buying an additional 1,994 shares in the last quarter. Finally, R. G. Niederhoffer Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $363,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.65% of the company’s stock.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.99, for a total transaction of $200,284.35. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 19,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,848,629.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP David Chojnowski sold 684 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total transaction of $67,914.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 14,421,174 shares of company stock worth $1,366,398,832 over the last three months. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE WMT) traded down $0.02 on Friday, reaching $97.11. 16,141,258 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 9,437,804. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 52-week low of $65.28 and a 52-week high of $100.13. The company has a quick ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. The company has a market cap of $287,691.72, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.58 and a beta of 0.37.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. The firm had revenue of $122.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $120.23 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.98 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post 4.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

WMT has been the subject of several analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets restated a “market weight” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Jefferies Group set a $105.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 14th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $84.00 target price (up from $80.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Bank of America set a $100.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Barclays set a $100.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have issued a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $92.96.

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

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