Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $121.00 price target on the retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Walmart has surpassed the industry in the past year, backed by focus on strengthening e-commerce and store operations. These factors aided the company retain sturdy comps trend in first-quarter fiscal 2019, wherein earnings marked its fifth straight beat. Further, U.S. comps rose for the 19th straight time. Further, e-commerce sales surged on robust Walmart.com and online grocery performances. Encouragingly, e-commerce sales are expected to rise nearly 35% in fiscal 2020. The company is also making efforts to improve its International unit by shifting focus to profitable countries. However, the addition of Flipkart was a drag on Walmart’s operating income. Moreover, transportation costs, compelling pricing strategy and tariff-related worries are threats to margins. Nonetheless, the Flipkart deal bodes well for the long term.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on WMT. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on Walmart to $125.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, August 16th. Jefferies Financial Group lifted their price objective on Walmart from $117.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, June 10th. Buckingham Research set a $109.00 price objective on Walmart and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, August 16th. UBS Group set a $115.00 price objective on Walmart and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, August 16th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $112.00 price objective on Walmart and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, August 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $115.76.

Shares of NYSE WMT opened at $116.98 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $332.72 billion, a PE ratio of 23.82, a PEG ratio of 5.01 and a beta of 0.39. The business has a fifty day moving average of $112.53 and a two-hundred day moving average of $106.48. Walmart has a 52-week low of $85.78 and a 52-week high of $118.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.21 and a current ratio of 0.76.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 15th. The retailer reported $1.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $130.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $129.32 billion. Walmart had a return on equity of 18.23% and a net margin of 2.48%. The business’s revenue was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.29 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Walmart will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Walmart news, insider Daniel J. Bartlett sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $109.14, for a total transaction of $327,420.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 122,673 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,388,531.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider John R. Furner sold 7,900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $114.72, for a total value of $906,288.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 14,580 shares of company stock valued at $1,658,306 over the last three months. Company insiders own 51.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Walmart by 61.8% during the 1st quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 63,007 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $6,144,000 after buying an additional 24,062 shares during the period. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Walmart by 420.3% during the 1st quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC now owns 6,067 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $592,000 after buying an additional 4,901 shares during the period. Gemmer Asset Management LLC grew its position in shares of Walmart by 5.5% during the 1st quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 2,972 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $290,000 after buying an additional 154 shares during the period. Bank of Stockton grew its position in shares of Walmart by 16.6% during the 1st quarter. Bank of Stockton now owns 8,975 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $875,000 after buying an additional 1,280 shares during the period. Finally, Spirit of America Management Corp NY grew its position in shares of Walmart by 2.7% during the 1st quarter. Spirit of America Management Corp NY now owns 9,484 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $925,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the period. 30.11% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Walmart Company Profile

Walmart Inc engages in the retail and wholesale operations in various formats worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. It operates supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, cash and carry stores, discount stores, drugstores, and convenience stores; membership-only warehouse clubs; e-commerce Websites, such as walmart.com, jet.com, shoes.com, and samsclub.com; and mobile commerce applications.

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