Highland Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 13.5% in the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 8,086 shares of the retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 961 shares during the period. Highland Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Walmart were worth $1,098,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A number of other large investors have also made changes to their positions in WMT. Black Swift Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Walmart during the 4th quarter worth $26,000. Greenhouse Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Walmart during the 4th quarter worth $26,000. Albion Financial Group UT bought a new position in shares of Walmart during the 4th quarter worth $27,000. ShoreHaven Wealth Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Walmart during the 4th quarter worth $29,000. Finally, Perennial Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Walmart during the 4th quarter worth $32,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 29.34% of the company’s stock.
In other news, Director Randall L. Stephenson acquired 7,725 shares of Walmart stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 8th. The stock was bought at an average price of $129.63 per share, for a total transaction of $1,001,391.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 8,308 shares in the company, valued at $1,076,966.04. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO C Douglas Mcmillon sold 9,708 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $141.01, for a total value of $1,368,925.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 2,009,708 shares of company stock valued at $264,285,412 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 50.43% of the company’s stock.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 18th. The retailer reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.51 by ($0.12). Walmart had a return on equity of 19.13% and a net margin of 3.30%. The business had revenue of $152.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $148.52 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.38 EPS. As a group, analysts anticipate that Walmart Inc. will post 5.35 earnings per share for the current year.
Walmart announced that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 18th that permits the company to buyback $20.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the retailer to reacquire up to 5.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 10th will be paid a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 9th. Walmart’s dividend payout ratio is currently 44.62%.
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on WMT shares. MKM Partners cut their price target on Walmart from $154.00 to $141.00 in a research note on Tuesday, March 16th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut their target price on Walmart from $170.00 to $166.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, February 19th. Raymond James cut their target price on Walmart from $165.00 to $155.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, February 25th. Credit Suisse Group set a $150.00 target price on Walmart and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 19th. Finally, FIX downgraded Walmart from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $157.00 to $131.00 in a research note on Monday, January 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and twenty-three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $154.63.
Walmart Inc engages in the operation of retail, wholesale, and other units 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, and discount stores; membership-only warehouse clubs; ecommerce websites, such as walmart.com, walmart.com.mx, walmart.ca, flipkart.com, and samsclub.com; and mobile commerce applications.
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