Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $125.00 target price on the retailer’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Walmart's shares have outpaced the industry in the past year, backed by focus on strengthening e-commerce and store operations. These factors helped the company retain its sturdy comps trend in third-quarter fiscal 2019, wherein earnings marked its seventh straight beat and U.S. comps rose for the 21st straight time. Further, e-commerce sales surged on robust online grocery performance. Further, 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, Flipkart’s addition was a drag on Walmart’s bottom line, which is expected to continue in fiscal 2020. This along with a compelling pricing strategy and tariff-related worries is a threat to margins. Nonetheless, the Flipkart deal bodes well for the long term.”
A number of other research firms have also weighed in on WMT. UBS Group raised their price objective on shares of Walmart from $115.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, November 15th. Telsey Advisory Group raised their price target on shares of Walmart from $130.00 to $132.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, November 15th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Walmart from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Guggenheim reissued a buy rating and set a $135.00 price target (up from $125.00) on shares of Walmart in a research report on Thursday, November 14th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group raised their price target on shares of Walmart from $127.00 to $137.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, November 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $124.22.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 14th. The retailer reported $1.16 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.09 by $0.07. Walmart had a net margin of 2.77% and a return on equity of 18.47%. The firm had revenue of $126.98 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $128.08 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.08 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts forecast that Walmart will post 4.98 EPS for the current year.
In other news, EVP Marc E. Lore sold 85,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.57, for a total value of $10,248,450.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 2,808,295 shares in the company, valued at approximately $338,596,128.15. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Judith J. Mckenna sold 8,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.21, for a total transaction of $989,443.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 216,811 shares in the company, valued at approximately $25,846,039.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 51.11% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of WMT. Krane Funds Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Walmart during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $26,000. AllSquare Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in Walmart by 235.3% during the 2nd quarter. AllSquare Wealth Management LLC now owns 285 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $31,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. grew its holdings in Walmart by 181.7% during the 3rd quarter. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. now owns 307 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $36,000 after buying an additional 198 shares in the last quarter. Knuff & Co LLC purchased a new stake in Walmart during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $36,000. Finally, Princeton Global Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Walmart during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $43,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.37% of the company’s stock.
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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