J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $102.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in a research report sent to investors on Friday. The firm currently has a neutral rating on the retailer’s stock.

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on WMT. BidaskClub raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $86.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. set a $84.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Cowen and Company set a $86.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $89.87.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) traded down $2.15 during trading on Friday, hitting $97.47. 23,570,194 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,895,206. The company has a current ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.18 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51. The stock has a market capitalization of $297,590.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.89, a P/E/G ratio of 3.40 and a beta of 0.34. Wal-Mart Stores has a one year low of $65.28 and a one year high of $100.13.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $122.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 1.55% and a return on equity of 9.20%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.98 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.38 earnings per share for the current year.

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

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total value of $37,942,321.68. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,048,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $804,288,343.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Gregory S. Foran sold 52,793 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.86, for a total transaction of $5,113,529.98. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 121,457 shares in the company, valued at $11,764,325.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 9,979,505 shares of company stock worth $790,977,085. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Hudock Capital Group LLC increased its holdings 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 acquiring an additional 7 shares during the last quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 2,965 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $224,000 after acquiring an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Sterneck Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. Sterneck Capital Management LLC now owns 6,588 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $475,000 after acquiring an additional 22 shares during the last quarter. LLBH Private Wealth Management LLC increased its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. LLBH Private Wealth Management LLC now owns 7,843 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $594,000 after acquiring an additional 24 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Edgemoor Investment Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Edgemoor Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 7,654 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $579,000 after acquiring an additional 24 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.12% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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