Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its stake in shares of Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 131.5% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 260,033 shares of the retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 147,704 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund’s holdings in Walmart were worth $37,484,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cardinal Capital Management increased its stake in shares of Walmart by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. Cardinal Capital Management now owns 45,859 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $6,611,000 after purchasing an additional 388 shares in the last quarter. Banque Pictet & Cie SA purchased a new stake in shares of Walmart during the third quarter worth about $224,000. Ashfield Capital Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Walmart by 2.5% during the fourth quarter. Ashfield Capital Partners LLC now owns 78,819 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $11,362,000 after purchasing an additional 1,929 shares in the last quarter. Doyle Wealth Management boosted its position in Walmart by 0.6% during the fourth quarter. Doyle Wealth Management now owns 178,833 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $25,779,000 after acquiring an additional 1,060 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Trustcore Financial Services LLC boosted its position in Walmart by 31.0% during the fourth quarter. Trustcore Financial Services LLC now owns 18,418 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,655,000 after acquiring an additional 4,359 shares during the last quarter. 29.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other Walmart news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 260,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.41, for a total value of $39,106,600.00. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 177,513 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $152.43, for a total transaction of $27,058,306.59. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 2,980,991 shares in the company, valued at $454,392,458.13. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 8,965,000 shares of company stock worth $1,311,930,995. 50.43% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 18th. The retailer reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.51 by ($0.12). Walmart had a return on equity of 19.13% and a net margin of 3.30%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.38 EPS. As a group, research analysts expect that Walmart Inc. will post 5.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, December 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.62%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 9th. Walmart’s payout ratio is currently 43.81%.
A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada set a $162.00 price target on shares of Walmart and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. Barclays boosted their price target on shares of Walmart from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 18th. DA Davidson boosted their price target on shares of Walmart from $154.00 to $177.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 18th. Citigroup Inc. 3% Minimum Coupon Principal Protected Based Upon Russell boosted their price target on shares of Walmart from $155.00 to $172.00 in a research report on Wednesday, November 18th. Finally, Smith Barney Citigroup boosted their price target on shares of Walmart from $155.00 to $172.00 in a research report on Wednesday, November 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and twenty-eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $149.72.
Walmart Inc engages in the retail and wholesale operations in various formats worldwide. The company operates in 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; ecommerce websites, such as walmart.com, walmart.com.mx, asda.com, walmart.ca, flipkart.com, and samsclub.com; and mobile commerce applications.
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