Affinity Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm purchased 16,000 shares of the retailer’s stock, valued at approximately $1,168,000.

Other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Piershale Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.6% in the second quarter. Piershale Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,607 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the period. Gemmer Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the second quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 2,902 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $212,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the period. Bangor Savings Bank raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.7% in the second quarter. Bangor Savings Bank now owns 2,996 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $218,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the period. Shinko Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the second quarter. Shinko Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 7,692 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $562,000 after buying an additional 28 shares during the period. Finally, Signaturefd LLC raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.6% in the second quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 4,778 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $349,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.32% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) opened at 72.87 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $72.69 and its 200 day moving average is $70.42. The stock has a market capitalization of $225.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.69 and a beta of 0.22. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has a 12-month low of $56.30 and a 12-month high of $75.19.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The retailer reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.02 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $120.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $119.33 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 17.93% and a net margin of 3.04%. The company’s revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.08 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will post $4.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on WMT shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 24th. Morgan Stanley set a $73.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $86.00 price target (up from $85.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Monday, August 15th. Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $75.48 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 23rd. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and issued a $77.00 price target (up from $68.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Wal-Mart Stores currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $74.15.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.44, for a total transaction of $150,024,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $482,118,555.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 971,842 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.29, for a total value of $69,282,616.18. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,987,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $141,696,289.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 51.55% of the company’s stock.

About Wal-Mart Stores

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units in various formats around the world. The Company offers an assortment of merchandise and services at everyday low prices (EDLP). The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club.

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