Press coverage about Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) has trended somewhat positive recently, according to AlphaOne Sentiment Analysis. The research group, a service of Accern, ranks the sentiment of press coverage by analyzing more than 20 million news and blog sources in real time. AlphaOne ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Wal-Mart Stores earned a media sentiment score of 0.02 on AlphaOne’s scale. AlphaOne also assigned news headlines about the retailer an impact score of 73 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is likely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the next few days.

These are some of the headlines that may have impacted Alpha One Sentiment Analysis’s scoring:

  • Stock Price Analysis of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) (cote-ivoire.com)
  • Wal-Mart preps Amazon Dash rival? – Seeking Alpha (seekingalpha.com)
  • Ritholtz’s Reads: Oil Rigs, Wal-Mart and Superhuman AI (finance.yahoo.com)
  • ‘WE BLEW IT’: Charlie Munger says it was a mistake for Berkshire Hathaway to not invest in Google and Walmart (finance.yahoo.com)
  • $117.51 Billion in Sales Expected for Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT) This Quarter (americanbankingnews.com)

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) opened at 76.50 on Monday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $72.88 and a 200 day moving average of $70.35. Wal-Mart Stores has a one year low of $62.72 and a one year high of $76.60.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 21st. The retailer reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $129.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $130.22 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.98% and a return on equity of 17.71%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up .8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.49 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be given a dividend of $0.51 per share. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.67%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 6th. Wal-Mart Stores’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.48%.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Cowen and Company reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $83.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Wednesday, February 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Tuesday, May 2nd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 22nd. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, April 7th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares Inc assumed coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, February 10th. They set a “positive” rating and a $80.00 price objective for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $75.82.

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,000,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.50, for a total transaction of $211,500,000.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 10,507,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $740,752,453.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 3,667,343 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.99, for a total transaction of $264,012,022.57. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,507,127 shares in the company, valued at approximately $756,408,072.73. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 15,585,041 shares of company stock worth $1,110,035,611. 51.55% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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.

The article first appeared in transcriptdaily.com