New York State Teachers Retirement System decreased its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 3.8% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 2,546,600 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 99,366 shares during the quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System owned approximately 0.09% of Wal-Mart Stores worth $198,991,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of WMT. FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 45.3% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,982,372 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,360,906,000 after purchasing an additional 5,608,785 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 42.6% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 5,745,493 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $434,819,000 after purchasing an additional 1,716,422 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 52.9% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 4,883,390 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $369,565,000 after purchasing an additional 1,689,364 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 100.2% in the 2nd quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 2,646,589 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $200,294,000 after purchasing an additional 1,324,722 shares during the period. Finally, Fred Alger Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4,619.7% in the 2nd quarter. Fred Alger Management Inc. now owns 1,128,064 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $85,372,000 after purchasing an additional 1,104,163 shares during the period. 30.58% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research firms have recently weighed in on WMT. Wells Fargo & Co set a $101.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Wolfe Research raised Wal-Mart Stores from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Citigroup raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $106.00 to $117.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $100.00 price target (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, Moffett Nathanson began coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $95.78.
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 16.92% and a net margin of 2.31%. 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, Inc. will post 4.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to buyback $20.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Wal-Mart Stores news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.99, for a total transaction of $200,284.35. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 19,060 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,848,629.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP John R. Furner sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total value of $119,148.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 48,757 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,841,082.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock valued at $1,207,333,538. Corporate insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.
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Wal-Mart Stores 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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