Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Stephens from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $91.00 price target on the retailer’s stock. Stephens’ price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.82% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. KeyCorp reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $90.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. MKM Partners reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $77.00 price objective (up from $72.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Wednesday, April 26th. Pacific Crest downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores to a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday, April 30th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “sell” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, May 2nd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $79.40.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) traded up 0.130% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $80.765. 2,486,740 shares of the stock traded hands. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52 week low of $65.28 and a 52 week high of $81.99. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $77.30 and its 200 day moving average price is $74.05. The company has a market capitalization of $243.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.339 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores also saw some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday. Traders bought 59,526 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 408% compared to the typical volume of 11,715 call options.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.04. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.79% and a return on equity of 16.96%. The company had revenue of $116.53 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $117.01 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.98 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.36 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, Director S Robson Walton sold 1,618,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.22, for a total value of $129,820,026.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $268,332,370.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,278,735 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total transaction of $259,020,065.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,507,224 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $830,070,696. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock valued at $1,816,131,604. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WMT. Winfield Associates Inc. increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% in the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 696 shares in the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% in the second quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.7% in the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,511 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 1,252 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.09% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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