Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust maintained its position in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 11,603,000 shares of the retailer’s stock at the end of the first quarter. Wal-Mart Stores accounts for approximately 4.4% of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust’s holdings, making the stock its 5th largest position. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $836,344,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of WMT. Level Four Advisory Services LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 64.7% in the first quarter. Level Four Advisory Services LLC now owns 33,323 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,391,000 after buying an additional 13,091 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its stake 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 period. Two Sigma Securities LLC increased its stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 90.6% in the first quarter. Two Sigma Securities LLC now owns 9,613 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $693,000 after buying an additional 4,569 shares during the period. Weiss Multi Strategy Advisers LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter valued at about $6,210,000. Finally, MEMBERS Trust Co purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the first quarter valued at about $694,000. Institutional investors own 30.09% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) traded down 0.32% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $80.40. 7,905,495 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $242.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.26 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 company has a 50 day moving average price of $77.44 and a 200 day moving average price of $74.15.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $116.53 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $117.01 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.79% and a return on equity of 16.96%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.98 EPS. Analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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WMT has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Vetr upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.40 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $67.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, May 2nd. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and raised their target price for the company from $63.00 to $80.00 in a research note on Friday, May 19th. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $90.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Wednesday, April 19th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $79.40.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,278,735 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total transaction of $259,020,065.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,507,224 shares in the company, valued at approximately $830,070,696. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,576,324 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.65, for a total transaction of $202,627,882.60. Following the sale, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $530,775,817. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock valued at $1,816,131,604. 51.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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.

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

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