Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) insider Jeffrey J. Gearhart sold 9,216 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.96, for a total value of $727,695.36. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE WMT) traded up 0.429% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $78.405. The company had a trading volume of 4,569,066 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $79.04 and its 200 day moving average price is $75.39. The company has a market capitalization of $235.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.838 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 12-month low of $65.28 and a 12-month high of $81.99.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $123.40 billion during 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 for the quarter was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.07 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 105,673,654 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $7,997,381,000 after buying an additional 440,343 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 73,568,236 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,303,013,000 after buying an additional 854,010 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 45.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,982,372 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,360,906,000 after buying an additional 5,608,785 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.1% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 14,579,702 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,103,426,000 after buying an additional 580,373 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. increased its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 10,040,766 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $723,738,000 after buying an additional 256,833 shares during the last quarter. 29.93% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

WMT has been the topic of several recent research reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, May 5th. Vetr downgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $79.40 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on Wal-Mart Stores from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Gordon Haskett initiated coverage on Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, May 9th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $90.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 11th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $80.25.

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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