Equities analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) will post $121.02 billion in sales for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Eight analysts have made estimates for Wal-Mart Stores’ earnings. The highest sales estimate is $122.41 billion and the lowest is $118.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores reported sales of $118.18 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 2.4%. The firm is expected to issue its next earnings report before the market opens on Thursday, November 16th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will report full year sales of $121.02 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $490.98 billion to $499.38 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the company will post sales of $509.25 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $498.99 billion to $513.66 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Wal-Mart Stores.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.07 EPS.

A number of equities analysts have commented on the stock. Barclays PLC set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $83.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Friday. UBS AG set a $91.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday. Robert W. Baird reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective (up previously from $90.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Thursday. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $90.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $87.27.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) traded up $0.62 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $90.92. 7,647,800 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,693,536. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, a current ratio of 0.78 and a quick ratio of 0.18. The firm has a market cap of $271,596.41, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.85, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.39 and a beta of 0.34. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $65.28 and a 1-year high of $91.69.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Tuesday, October 10th that authorizes the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, Director S Robson Walton sold 2,117,863 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.45, for a total transaction of $166,146,352.35. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $262,411,798.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total transaction of $37,942,321.68. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,048,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $804,288,343.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492. Company insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 105,673,654 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $7,997,381,000 after purchasing an additional 440,343 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 73,568,236 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,303,013,000 after purchasing an additional 854,010 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 45.3% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,982,372 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,360,906,000 after purchasing an additional 5,608,785 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.5% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 14,804,523 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,156,909,000 after purchasing an additional 224,821 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.9% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,263,738 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $701,080,000 after purchasing an additional 174,296 shares during the last quarter. 30.12% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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