Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, October 31st.
According to Zacks, “Share price of Walmart has outperformed the industry in the past one year, as the company is pushing itself to adapt with the evolving needs of its customers and expand itself in both brick-and-mortar space as well as e-commerce activities. On one hand, the company is posting positive comps at Walmart U.S. for 12 successive quarters; while on the other hand, it is also building its e-commerce capabilities through acquisitions and growing in the online grocery and delivery market. The company therefore expects sales to rise approximately 3% during fiscal 2019, backed by the sustained growth in comps and e-commerce. However, the company still faces headwinds such as unfavourable currency, stiff competition from both brick & mortar and online retailers and huge expenses related to e-commerce investments. It has also resorted to store closures in the U.S. owing to slower growth in small format Express stores.”
Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on WMT. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) set a $84.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Bank of America Corporation set a $100.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. KeyCorp set a $100.00 target price on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $90.00 price target on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $86.65.
Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) opened at $90.92 on Tuesday. Wal-Mart Stores has a 52-week low of $65.28 and a 52-week high of $91.69. The stock has a market capitalization of $271,596.41, a P/E ratio of 20.85, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.39 and a beta of 0.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 0.18 and a current ratio of 0.78.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $123.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.86 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.87% and a net margin of 2.60%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.37 EPS for the current year.
Wal-Mart Stores announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, October 10th that authorizes the company to buyback $20.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, Director S Robson Walton sold 2,117,863 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.45, for a total value of $166,146,352.35. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares in the company, valued at $262,411,798.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 474,042 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the insider now owns 10,048,580 shares in the company, valued at $804,288,343.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492. Corporate insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WMT. Winfield Associates Inc. grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% in the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% during the 1st 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. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% during the 2nd 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. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% during the 2nd quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $115,000 after acquiring an additional 1,252 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,847 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $139,000 after acquiring an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. 30.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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.
For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com
Receive News & Ratings for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and related companies with our FREE daily email newsletter.