Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Upgraded to Buy by Cleveland Research

Cleveland Research upgraded shares of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday, Briefing.com Automated Import reports.

Several other brokerages also recently commented on WMT. Robert W. Baird reiterated a buy rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Walmart in a report on Friday, February 14th. Nomura reiterated a buy rating and set a $131.00 price target on shares of Walmart in a report on Monday, March 23rd. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on Walmart in a report on Friday, February 14th. They set a hold rating on the stock. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Walmart from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and increased their price target for the company from $115.00 to $127.00 in a report on Wednesday, March 18th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Walmart from $125.00 to $130.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Tuesday, December 31st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and twenty-two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $125.23.

NYSE:WMT traded down $0.24 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $109.58. The stock had a trading volume of 11,983,603 shares, compared to its average volume of 15,294,715. The business’s 50 day moving average is $115.18 and its 200 day moving average is $117.38. Walmart has a fifty-two week low of $96.53 and a fifty-two week high of $128.08. The stock has a market cap of $311.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.11, a PEG ratio of 4.35 and a beta of 0.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 0.79 and a quick ratio of 0.22.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 18th. The retailer reported $1.38 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.43 by ($0.05). Walmart had a return on equity of 18.16% and a net margin of 2.84%. The firm had revenue of $141.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $141.67 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.41 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities 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. Investors of record on Friday, December 11th will be given a $0.54 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 10th. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.97%. Walmart’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 43.81%.

In other Walmart news, EVP Marc E. Lore sold 85,000 shares of Walmart stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.91, for a total transaction of $9,852,350.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 2,783,450 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $322,629,689.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP M. Brett Biggs sold 16,205 shares of Walmart stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $114.39, for a total value of $1,853,689.95. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 264,445 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,249,863.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 321,205 shares of company stock valued at $37,403,190. 51.11% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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

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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Analyst Recommendations for Walmart (NYSE:WMT)

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