WMT Stock: Wal-Mart Stores Rating Increased to Conviction-Buy at Goldman Sachs Group

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Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Goldman Sachs Group from a “neutral” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. KeyCorp set a $100.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Jefferies Group increased their target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores from $93.00 to $97.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Bank of America set a $100.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Oppenheimer initiated coverage on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $90.00 target price for the company. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $90.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Seventeen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $99.98.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) opened at $102.70 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $298,282.25, a PE ratio of 27.31, a P/E/G ratio of 3.98 and a beta of 0.37. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1-year low of $65.28 and a 1-year high of $102.94. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $122.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.98 earnings per share. analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Wal-Mart Stores announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.99, for a total transaction of $200,284.35. Following the sale, the insider now owns 19,060 shares in the company, valued at $1,848,629.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Gregory S. Foran sold 52,793 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.86, for a total transaction of $5,113,529.98. Following the sale, the insider now owns 121,457 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,764,325.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock worth $1,207,333,538. 51.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Sterling Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 7.8% during the fourth quarter. Sterling Investment Management Inc. now owns 20,957 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,070,000 after acquiring an additional 1,523 shares during the last quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 15.2% during the fourth quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 160,862 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $15,885,000 after acquiring an additional 21,224 shares during the last quarter. Nepsis Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth approximately $9,476,000. Spirit of America Management Corp NY raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 42.8% during the fourth quarter. Spirit of America Management Corp NY now owns 7,174 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $708,000 after purchasing an additional 2,150 shares during the period. Finally, Koshinski Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 86.1% during the fourth quarter. Koshinski Asset Management Inc. now owns 11,510 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,137,000 after purchasing an additional 5,326 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.58% of the company’s stock.

Wal-Mart Stores Company Profile

Analyst Recommendations for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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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