Argus Investors Counsel Inc. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 4.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 58,831 shares of the retailer’s stock after buying an additional 2,541 shares during the period. Wal-Mart Stores accounts for about 2.0% of Argus Investors Counsel Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 21st largest position. Argus Investors Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $4,452,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.6% in the first quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 23,573 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,699,000 after buying an additional 1,039 shares during the last quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 2.6% in the first quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak now owns 15,305 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,103,000 after buying an additional 386 shares during the last quarter. First Personal Financial Services raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.0% in the first quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 72,719 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,242,000 after buying an additional 3,434 shares during the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 4.0% in the first quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 809,413 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $58,342,000 after buying an additional 31,436 shares during the last quarter. Finally, British Columbia Investment Management Corp raised its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 35.8% in the first quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 795,766 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $57,359,000 after buying an additional 209,619 shares during the last quarter. 29.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE WMT) traded up 0.79% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $78.65. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,656,190 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $236.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.90 and a beta of 0.29. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 52 week low of $65.28 and a 52 week high of $81.99. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $78.55 and its 200 day moving average is $75.09.

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

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Several analysts have commented on WMT shares. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Cowen and Company set a $86.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. 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. BidaskClub raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) set a $84.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $80.25.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, Director S Robson Walton sold 129,628 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $269,068,260.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 3,221,265 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.54, for a total transaction of $256,219,418.10. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $536,782,053.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 16,228,588 shares of company stock valued at $1,287,662,056. Company insiders own 51.39% 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.

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

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