Everence Capital Management Inc. Makes New Investment in Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT)

Everence Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm acquired 27,890 shares of the retailer’s stock, valued at approximately $3,788,000.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Walmart in the 4th quarter worth approximately $2,164,014,000. Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in Walmart by 3.7% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 13,388,737 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,929,987,000 after buying an additional 480,279 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in Walmart by 4.4% in the 4th quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 11,830,028 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,705,299,000 after buying an additional 497,775 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Walmart by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 8,468,345 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,220,715,000 after buying an additional 138,861 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in Walmart by 12.7% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 7,310,901 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,053,866,000 after buying an additional 824,835 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 29.34% of the company’s stock.

WMT has been the subject of several research reports. MKM Partners decreased their target price on Walmart from $154.00 to $141.00 in a research report on Tuesday, March 16th. FIX lowered Walmart from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $157.00 to $131.00 in a research report on Monday, January 25th. Raymond James decreased their target price on Walmart from $165.00 to $155.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 25th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $162.00 target price on Walmart and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 19th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft decreased their target price on Walmart from $170.00 to $166.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, February 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and twenty-four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $154.11.

Shares of WMT stock traded up $0.22 on Thursday, reaching $140.02. The stock had a trading volume of 137,191 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,552,190. The stock has a market cap of $394.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.86 and a beta of 0.27. Walmart Inc. has a 1 year low of $117.01 and a 1 year high of $153.66. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.29 and a current ratio of 0.79. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $133.89 and a 200 day simple moving average of $142.07.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 18th. The retailer reported $1.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.51 by ($0.12). The firm had revenue of $152.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $148.52 billion. Walmart had a return on equity of 19.13% and a net margin of 3.30%. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.38 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Walmart Inc. will post 5.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 10th will be paid a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 9th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.57%. Walmart’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 44.62%.

Walmart declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 18th that authorizes the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to repurchase up to 5.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Randall L. Stephenson bought 7,725 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 8th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $129.63 per share, for a total transaction of $1,001,391.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 8,308 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,076,966.04. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 410,115 shares of Walmart stock in a transaction on Friday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.54, for a total value of $53,946,527.10. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,215,991 shares in the company, valued at $423,031,456.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 2,035,000 shares of company stock worth $267,991,487. Company insiders own 50.43% of the company’s stock.

Walmart Profile

Walmart Inc engages in the retail and wholesale operations in various formats worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. It operates supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, cash and carry stores, discount stores, drugstores, and convenience stores; membership-only warehouse clubs; ecommerce websites, such as walmart.com, walmart.com.mx, asda.com, walmart.ca, flipkart.com, and samsclub.com; and mobile commerce applications.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Walmart (NYSE:WMT)

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