Jennison Associates LLC boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 8.0% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 1,753,957 shares of the retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 129,832 shares during the quarter. Jennison Associates LLC’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $137,054,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 10.9% during the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 2,983,092 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $225,760,000 after acquiring an additional 294,383 shares during the period. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. Cutter & CO Brokerage Inc. now owns 8,067 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $611,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the period. State of Wisconsin Investment Board lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 23.1% during the 2nd quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 2,095,792 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $158,610,000 after acquiring an additional 393,180 shares during the period. Numeric Investors LLC lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 31.2% during the 2nd quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 1,179,674 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $89,278,000 after acquiring an additional 280,430 shares during the period. Finally, R. G. Niederhoffer Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the 2nd quarter valued at $363,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.58% of the company’s stock.

In related news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,900,679 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.82, for a total transaction of $283,744,419.78. Following the sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $660,146,095.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP David Chojnowski sold 684 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total value of $67,914.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock valued at $1,207,333,538. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) opened at $101.61 on Tuesday. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $65.28 and a fifty-two week high of $101.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.19. The stock has a market capitalization of $301,010.00, a PE ratio of 27.02, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.69 and a beta of 0.37.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $122.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.92% and a net margin of 2.31%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.98 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post 4.43 earnings per share for the current year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on WMT. Telsey Advisory Group cut their target price on Wal-Mart Stores from $108.00 to $96.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on Wal-Mart Stores from $83.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Moffett Nathanson began coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Monday, December 4th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. Wells Fargo & Co set a $101.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group boosted their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $93.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have issued a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $96.81.

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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 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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