Westchester Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 1.1% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 97,193 shares of the retailer’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,090 shares during the quarter. Wal-Mart Stores comprises approximately 3.4% of Westchester Capital Management Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 22nd biggest holding. Westchester Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $7,356,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Winfield Associates Inc. lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% in the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% in the second quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $108,000 after acquiring an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $106,000 after acquiring an additional 696 shares in the last quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 124.2% in the second quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 1,910 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $145,000 after acquiring an additional 1,058 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Grove Bank & Trust lifted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 49.8% in the second quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 2,015 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $152,000 after acquiring an additional 670 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.19% of the company’s stock.

In related news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total transaction of $37,942,321.68. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,048,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $804,288,343.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 1,586 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.00, for a total value of $125,294.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 21,125 shares in the company, valued at $1,668,875. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock worth $785,676,492. 51.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE WMT) opened at 87.44 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $261.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.01 and a beta of 0.29. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $81.17 and a 200-day moving average price of $78.10. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a one year low of $65.28 and a one year high of $87.45.

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 analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.87% and a net margin of 2.60%. The business had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $121.86 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.37 earnings per share for the current year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that authorizes the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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Several brokerages have recently issued reports on WMT. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $88.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. MKM Partners restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) restated a “buy” rating and issued a $91.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Cowen and Company set a $86.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $80.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Wal-Mart Stores presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.38.

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.

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

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