Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors bought 5,107 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 351% compared to the average daily volume of 1,132 put options.

In other news, Director S Robson Walton sold 646,330 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.20, for a total transaction of $51,835,666.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $268,265,471.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total transaction of $1,972,127.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 7,948,971 shares of company stock valued at $628,583,326. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WMT. Johanson Financial Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores in the 1st quarter valued at $322,000. Hengehold Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 9.7% in the 1st quarter. Hengehold Capital Management LLC now owns 28,640 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,064,000 after acquiring an additional 2,544 shares during the last quarter. Rockland Trust Co. boosted its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 3.4% in the 1st quarter. Rockland Trust Co. now owns 168,207 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $12,124,000 after acquiring an additional 5,516 shares during the last quarter. Sanders Morris Harris Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores in the 1st quarter valued at $231,000. Finally, City Holding Co. boosted its holdings in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 3.8% in the 1st quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 34,796 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,508,000 after acquiring an additional 1,285 shares during the last quarter. 30.19% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) opened at 80.50 on Thursday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52-week low of $65.28 and a 52-week high of $81.99. The company has a market capitalization of $240.47 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.54 and a beta of 0.30. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $79.87 and a 200 day moving average of $76.28.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.07 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Sunday, June 4th. BidaskClub raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Morningstar, Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Vetr downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating and set a $64.26 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. increased their price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $80.25.

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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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