Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) has earned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the thirty-five brokerages that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Seventeen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, sixteen have issued a buy recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $101.97.
WMT has been the subject of several recent research reports. Jefferies Group set a $105.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. KeyCorp set a $100.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, November 13th. Barclays set a $100.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, November 13th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, November 20th. Finally, Cowen reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Wednesday, November 22nd.
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) traded down $9.82 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $94.96. 37,332,390 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,693,349. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1 year low of $69.33 and a 1 year high of $109.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $282,430.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.74 and a beta of 0.42. 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 business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be given a $0.52 dividend. This represents a $2.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.19%. This is an increase from Wal-Mart Stores’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. Wal-Mart Stores’s payout ratio is 54.26%.
In other news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction 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 completion of the sale, the insider now owns 19,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,848,629.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Jeffrey J. Gearhart sold 10,090 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.63, for a total transaction of $985,086.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 8,462,022 shares of company stock valued at $821,845,857. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% during 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 lifted its stake in 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 in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 2.9% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 15,815,063 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,558,526,000 after purchasing an additional 440,989 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 14,804,523 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,156,909,000 after purchasing an additional 224,821 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.5% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,919,633 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $696,979,000 after purchasing an additional 45,217 shares in the last quarter. 30.33% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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