Wal-Mart Stores Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (WMT)

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Monday. Stock traders bought 5,107 put options on the company. This is an increase of 351% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,132 put options.

In other news, Director S Robson Walton sold 3,000,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.25, for a total value of $237,750,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $265,087,763. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider David Cheesewright sold 25,729 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total value of $1,972,127.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 23,006,720 shares of company stock worth $1,816,131,604. Insiders own 51.39% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Dodge & Cox acquired a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth $1,503,922,000. DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main acquired a new position in Wal-Mart Stores during the fourth quarter worth $274,739,000. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 1,177.3% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 2,744,769 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $189,747,000 after buying an additional 2,529,880 shares during the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 161.4% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 3,297,419 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $237,678,000 after buying an additional 2,035,800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Wal-Mart Stores by 23.7% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 8,810,593 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $608,988,000 after buying an additional 1,689,794 shares during the last quarter. 30.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Saturday, May 13th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $75.54 target price (down from $88.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Pacific Crest downgraded Wal-Mart Stores to a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, April 30th. Vetr downgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $77.38 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $77.93.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE WMT) traded down 1.70% during trading on Monday, reaching $74.05. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,738,024 shares. Wal-Mart Stores has a one year low of $65.28 and a one year high of $80.47. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $77.53 and a 200 day moving average of $72.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $223.22 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.81 and a beta of 0.28.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $116.53 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.01 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.96% and a net margin of 2.79%. Wal-Mart Stores’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.98 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post $4.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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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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