Media coverage about Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) has been trending somewhat positive on Wednesday, Accern Sentiment reports. The research firm rates the sentiment of press coverage by monitoring more than twenty million news and blog sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Wal-Mart Stores earned a news sentiment score of 0.10 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave press coverage about the retailer an impact score of 45.723467478374 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the immediate future.

Here are some of the media headlines that may have impacted Accern’s analysis:

WMT has been the topic of several analyst reports. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Sunday, September 17th. Jefferies Group set a $93.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Oppenheimer reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Friday, August 18th. KeyCorp reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group set a $87.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have given a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Wal-Mart Stores presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $92.96.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) traded down $0.23 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $96.70. The stock had a trading volume of 7,810,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,918,672. The stock has a market capitalization of $287,143.69, a P/E ratio of 22.13, a PEG ratio of 3.57 and a beta of 0.37. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $65.28 and a 1-year high of $100.13. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a current ratio of 0.81.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its 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. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.92% and a net margin of 2.31%. The business had revenue of $122.14 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $120.23 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.98 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Tuesday, October 10th that authorizes the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director S Robson Walton sold 826,617 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.39, for a total transaction of $79,677,612.63. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,345,065 shares in the company, valued at $322,430,815.35. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP John R. Furner sold 1,200 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total value of $119,148.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 48,757 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,841,082.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 14,419,109 shares of company stock worth $1,366,198,547. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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