Brokerages expect that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) will post $0.97 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Eight analysts have provided estimates for Wal-Mart Stores’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.93 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.99. Wal-Mart Stores reported earnings of $0.98 per share during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year over year growth rate of 1%. The firm is scheduled to report its next earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, November 16th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores will report full-year earnings of $4.37 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.30 to $4.45. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the business will post earnings of $4.62 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.50 to $4.79. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that cover Wal-Mart Stores.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 company had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.86 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.07 EPS. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of research firms have weighed in on WMT. MKM Partners reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. Morgan Stanley set a $90.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Cowen and Company set a $86.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $80.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada set a $83.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $86.65.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) opened at $90.92 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.18, a current ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51. Wal-Mart Stores has a 12 month low of $65.28 and a 12 month high of $91.69. The firm has a market cap of $269,744.38, a P/E ratio of 20.71, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.37 and a beta of 0.34.

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

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In related news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.04, for a total value of $37,942,321.68. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,048,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $804,288,343.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 775,958 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.24, for a total transaction of $62,262,869.92. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,507,224 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $843,099,653.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492. 51.39% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WMT. FMR LLC lifted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 45.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 17,982,372 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,360,906,000 after acquiring an additional 5,608,785 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 42.6% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 5,745,493 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $434,819,000 after acquiring an additional 1,716,422 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 52.9% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 4,883,390 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $369,565,000 after acquiring an additional 1,689,364 shares during the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new stake in Wal-Mart Stores in the first quarter valued at $111,777,000. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC lifted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 100.2% in the second quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 2,646,589 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $200,294,000 after acquiring an additional 1,324,722 shares during the last quarter. 30.15% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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