HL Financial Services LLC grew its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 6.1% during the third quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 137,539 shares of the retailer’s stock after acquiring an additional 7,895 shares during the quarter. HL Financial Services LLC’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $10,747,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the business. Pzena Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.3% during the third quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 5,201,567 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $406,450,000 after purchasing an additional 67,231 shares during the period. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 11.4% during the third quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 15,005 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,172,000 after purchasing an additional 1,534 shares during the period. Alps Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 24.8% during the third quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 21,241 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,660,000 after purchasing an additional 4,217 shares during the period. Jennison Associates LLC raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 8.0% during the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 1,753,957 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $137,054,000 after purchasing an additional 129,832 shares during the period. Finally, Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 15.8% during the third quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 41,247 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,223,000 after purchasing an additional 5,624 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.58% of the company’s stock.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) opened at $100.39 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $297,390.00, a P/E ratio of 26.70, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.69 and a beta of 0.37. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 1 year low of $65.28 and a 1 year high of $102.35. 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 posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $122.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.92% and a net margin of 2.31%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.98 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post 4.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has authorized a stock 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. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, SVP David Chojnowski sold 684 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total transaction of $67,914.36. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.99, for a total value of $200,284.35. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 19,060 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,848,629.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 12,419,588 shares of company stock worth $1,207,333,538 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently commented on WMT. Zacks Investment Research lowered Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday. Vetr lowered Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $91.97 price target on the stock. in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Telsey Advisory Group dropped their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $108.00 to $96.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $83.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $90.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $96.81.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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