Wal-Mart Stores Sees Unusually High Options Volume (WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Investors bought 5,107 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 351% compared to the average volume of 1,132 put options.
Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) opened at 81.61 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $246.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.53 and a beta of 0.29. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $76.65 and a 200-day moving average of $73.67. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52-week low of $65.28 and a 52-week high of $81.99.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $116.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.01 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.96% and a net margin of 2.79%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.98 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Several brokerages have issued reports on WMT. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Friday, May 5th. Pacific Crest downgraded shares of Wal-Mart Stores to a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday, April 30th. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Saturday, May 13th. UBS AG reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $80.00 price objective (up from $73.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Sunday, May 21st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Sunday, June 4th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $78.86.
In related news, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total transaction of $1,972,127.85. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,576,324 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was 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 in the company, valued at $530,775,817. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 23,006,720 shares of company stock worth $1,816,131,604 over the last quarter. 51.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. State Street Corp boosted its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 1.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 73,568,236 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,303,013,000 after buying an additional 854,010 shares during the period. Dodge & Cox purchased a new position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,503,922,000. American Century Companies Inc. raised 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 worth $723,738,000 after buying an additional 256,833 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 1.9% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,263,738 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $701,080,000 after buying an additional 174,296 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.3% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 8,594,967 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $619,457,000 after buying an additional 429,599 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.09% of the company’s stock.
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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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