Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Downgraded by Exane BNP Paribas to Underperform

Exane BNP Paribas lowered shares of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) to an underperform rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday. They currently have price target on the retailer’s stock.

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on WMT. Credit Suisse Group raised Walmart from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and boosted their target price for the company from $115.00 to $127.00 in a research note on Wednesday, March 18th. Evercore ISI began coverage on Walmart in a research note on Friday, February 14th. They issued a hold rating for the company. Robert W. Baird reissued a buy rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Walmart in a research note on Friday, February 14th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Walmart from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $125.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Friday, January 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Walmart from $125.00 to $130.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 31st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twenty-two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $125.23.

Shares of NYSE WMT traded down $0.24 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $109.58. The company had a trading volume of 11,983,603 shares, compared to its average volume of 15,294,715. Walmart has a one year low of $96.53 and a one year high of $128.08. The company has a quick ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $115.18 and its 200-day moving average price is $117.38. The stock has a market cap of $311.04 billion, a PE ratio of 21.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.35 and a beta of 0.42.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 18th. The retailer reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.43 by ($0.05). Walmart had a net margin of 2.84% and a return on equity of 18.16%. The company had revenue of $141.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $141.67 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.41 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Walmart will post 5.11 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 4th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 11th will be issued a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 10th. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.97%. Walmart’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 43.81%.

In other Walmart news, EVP Marc E. Lore sold 85,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.41, for a total transaction of $9,979,850.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 2,466,418 shares in the company, valued at approximately $289,582,137.38. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP John R. Furner sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $116.50, for a total value of $5,825,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 321,205 shares of company stock worth $37,403,190 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 51.11% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WMT. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Walmart by 32.7% during the 4th quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 6,997,162 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $831,543,000 after acquiring an additional 1,725,977 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its holdings in shares of Walmart by 22.1% during the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 8,926,837 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,060,865,000 after acquiring an additional 1,614,100 shares during the period. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Walmart during the 4th quarter worth approximately $186,636,000. Johanson Financial Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Walmart by 11,851.3% during the 4th quarter. Johanson Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 1,532,872 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $12,903,000 after acquiring an additional 1,520,046 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its holdings in shares of Walmart by 67.6% during the 4th quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,593,989 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $308,261,000 after acquiring an additional 1,046,394 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.37% of the company’s stock.

About Walmart

Walmart Inc engages in the retail and wholesale operations in various formats worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. It operates supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, cash and carry stores, discount stores, drugstores, and convenience stores; membership-only warehouse clubs; e-commerce Websites, such as walmart.com, jet.com, shoes.com, and samsclub.com; and mobile commerce applications.

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