Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. decreased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 42.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,797 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 1,319 shares during the quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd.’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $136,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the business. Waldron LP acquired a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores in the first quarter worth $313,000. First Merchants Corp increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 6.3% in the first quarter. First Merchants Corp now owns 38,356 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,764,000 after acquiring an additional 2,277 shares during the period. BTC Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.7% in the first quarter. BTC Capital Management Inc. now owns 35,742 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,578,000 after acquiring an additional 1,617 shares during the period. Whittier Trust Co. increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.4% in the first quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 73,221 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,278,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Finally, Callahan Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 16.6% in the first quarter. Callahan Advisors LLC now owns 58,446 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $4,213,000 after acquiring an additional 8,330 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.19% of the company’s stock.

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In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,000,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.47, for a total value of $158,940,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $536,309,652.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.44, for a total transaction of $10,427,276.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at $269,068,260.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock worth $785,676,492. 51.39% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE WMT) opened at 85.74 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $80.08 and its 200-day moving average is $77.67. The stock has a market capitalization of $256.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.60 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 52 week low of $65.28 and a 52 week high of $86.95.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.07 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on WMT. KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. Vetr lowered shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.69 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, June 19th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $84.00 price objective (up previously from $80.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.11.

Wal-Mart Stores 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.

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

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