Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC Buys Shares of 1,060,530 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT)

Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC acquired a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in the third quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor acquired 1,060,530 shares of the retailer’s stock, valued at approximately $82,870,000. Wal-Mart Stores makes up approximately 1.2% of Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 24th largest position.

Several other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 105,673,654 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $7,997,381,000 after buying an additional 440,343 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings 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 worth $1,360,906,000 after purchasing an additional 5,608,785 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 14,579,702 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,103,426,000 after purchasing an additional 580,373 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,263,738 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $701,080,000 after purchasing an additional 174,296 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 7.4% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,874,416 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $671,623,000 after purchasing an additional 607,827 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.58% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) opened at $100.87 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $298,820.00, a P/E ratio of 26.83, a P/E/G ratio of 3.69 and a beta of 0.37. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.19. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 52-week low of $65.28 and a 52-week high of $102.35.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.98 EPS. research analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post 4.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, October 10th that authorizes the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on WMT shares. Citigroup raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $106.00 to $117.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $88.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Bank of America set a $100.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $101.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. Finally, Wolfe Research raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $97.09.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,057,004 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.69, for a total transaction of $198,891,716.76. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $652,520,200.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,900,679 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.82, for a total transaction of $283,744,419.78. Following the sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $660,146,095.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 12,419,588 shares of company stock worth $1,207,333,538 over the last quarter. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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

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