SSI Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 2.8% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 3,453 shares of the retailer’s stock after buying an additional 93 shares during the period. SSI Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $253,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of WMT. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 27.6% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 117,059 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $8,548,000 after buying an additional 25,308 shares during the last quarter. Midwest Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.2% in the second quarter. Midwest Investment Management LLC now owns 13,915 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,016,000 after buying an additional 565 shares during the last quarter. Affinity Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter worth approximately $1,168,000. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 11.7% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 4,545,614 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $331,919,000 after buying an additional 477,648 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 31.2% in the second quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 737,683 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $53,866,000 after buying an additional 175,313 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 29.32% of the company’s stock.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) traded down 0.06% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $72.05. The stock had a trading volume of 3,467,724 shares. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has a 52-week low of $56.30 and a 52-week high of $75.19. The stock has a market cap of $222.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.51 and a beta of 0.22. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $72.57 and a 200-day moving average of $70.60.

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

A number of analysts have commented on the company. Vetr upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $75.98 price target for the company in a research report on Monday. Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $80.00 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group set a $86.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Cowen and Company raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $76.00 to $83.00 in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have assigned a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $74.17.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 1,450,000 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.39, for a total value of $103,515,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,100,000 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction on Friday, September 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.44, for a total transaction of $150,024,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $482,118,555.20. 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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