Monarch Capital Management Inc. lessened its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 0.9% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 98,516 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 892 shares during the quarter. Wal-Mart Stores comprises about 2.9% of Monarch Capital Management Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 8th biggest holding. Monarch Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $7,698,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Winfield Associates Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% in the 2nd quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 75 shares during the period. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% in the 2nd quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% in the 1st quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 696 shares during the period. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% in the 2nd quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 1,252 shares during the period. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,847 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.65% of the company’s stock.

WMT has been the topic of several recent research reports. CIBC dropped their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $100.00 to $90.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Telsey Advisory Group dropped their price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $108.00 to $96.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Royal Bank of Canada raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from an “underperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $96.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 29th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $87.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, Vetr raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $96.71 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have issued a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $92.96.

In related news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 1,319,133 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.61, for a total transaction of $128,760,572.13. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 11,057,224 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,079,295,634.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.99, for a total transaction of $200,284.35. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 19,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,848,629.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 14,421,174 shares of company stock valued at $1,366,398,832. Corporate insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) opened at $97.11 on Monday. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a one year low of $65.28 and a one year high of $100.13. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. The company has a market cap of $287,676.94, a PE ratio of 22.17, a PEG ratio of 3.58 and a beta of 0.37.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $122.14 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.98 EPS. sell-side 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 has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, October 10th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the retailer to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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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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