Media stories about Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) have been trending somewhat positive this week, Accern Sentiment reports. The research firm identifies positive and negative press coverage by monitoring more than 20 million news and blog sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Wal-Mart Stores earned a news impact score of 0.16 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave news articles about the retailer an impact score of 46.5922076329998 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the next few days.
Here are some of the media stories that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s analysis:
- Walmart ‘Scan and Go’: How Does It Work? (finance.yahoo.com)
- Target’s Holiday Sales Exceeded Expectations (finance.yahoo.com)
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Announces Cash Tender Offers for Certain of its Outstanding Debt Securities (finance.yahoo.com)
- Lobbyists Have a New Secret Weapon (finance.yahoo.com)
- Walmart: Here’s what people are buying the most in every state (finance.yahoo.com)
Several analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday. Robert W. Baird set a $110.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada set a $106.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. Vetr raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $96.71 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, November 27th. Finally, UBS Group set a $100.00 price objective on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wal-Mart Stores presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $96.81.
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.97 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $122.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.92% and a net margin of 2.31%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.98 EPS. analysts anticipate that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.43 EPS for the current year.
Wal-Mart Stores announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that authorizes the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 2,900,679 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.82, for a total value of $283,744,419.78. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $660,146,095.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.99, for a total value of $200,284.35. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 19,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,848,629.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock valued at $1,207,333,538. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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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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