Equities research analysts predict that Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) will post $125.24 billion in sales for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Six analysts have provided estimates for Walmart’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $123.10 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $126.25 billion. Walmart posted sales of $122.69 billion during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 2.1%. The company is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 16th.

On average, analysts expect that Walmart will report full year sales of $528.21 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $522.22 billion to $533.02 billion. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the company will report sales of $545.22 billion, with estimates ranging from $533.22 billion to $555.65 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow Walmart.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 19th. The retailer reported $1.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.33 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $137.74 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $137.63 billion. Walmart had a net margin of 1.30% and a return on equity of 18.60%. The company’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.33 EPS.

A number of research firms have weighed in on WMT. Credit Suisse Group restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $103.00 price target on shares of Walmart in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Morgan Stanley set a $113.00 price target on Walmart and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 price target on shares of Walmart in a report on Thursday, February 21st. Zacks Investment Research cut Walmart from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, January 19th. Finally, Bank of America set a $120.00 price target on Walmart and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $105.82.

In related news, Director S Robson Walton sold 1,139,696 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.72, for a total transaction of $113,650,485.12. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Jacqueline P. Canney sold 980 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.03, for a total value of $97,049.40. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 54,588 shares in the company, valued at $5,405,849.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 14,240,978 shares of company stock worth $1,406,078,670 over the last 90 days. 51.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WMT. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its stake in Walmart by 2,899.4% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 14,543,323 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $156,000 after purchasing an additional 14,058,442 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its position in Walmart by 14.6% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 23,977,936 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,233,545,000 after buying an additional 3,058,978 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its position in Walmart by 27.2% in the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 12,208,910 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,146,539,000 after buying an additional 2,608,732 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in Walmart by 9.2% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 18,148,619 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,687,500,000 after buying an additional 1,532,362 shares during the period. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its position in Walmart by 493.9% in the fourth quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 1,732,659 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $161,400,000 after buying an additional 1,440,922 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 28.92% of the company’s stock.

NYSE WMT traded up $0.91 on Friday, reaching $99.60. The company had a trading volume of 3,651,776 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,413,055. The stock has a market cap of $292.77 billion, a PE ratio of 20.29, a P/E/G ratio of 4.55 and a beta of 0.34. Walmart has a 1 year low of $81.78 and a 1 year high of $106.21. The company has a quick ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, May 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.53 per share. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.13%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 9th. Walmart’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.18%.

About Walmart

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, hayneedle.com, shoes.com, moosejaw.com, modcloth.com, bonobos.com, and samsclub.com; and mobile commerce and voice-activated commerce applications.

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