Argent Trust Co raised its holdings in shares of Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 9.3% in the first quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 140,023 shares of the retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 11,962 shares during the period. Walmart comprises 1.3% of Argent Trust Co’s portfolio, making the stock its 10th largest holding. Argent Trust Co’s holdings in Walmart were worth $19,019,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in WMT. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Walmart during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,164,014,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its position in Walmart by 39.8% in the 1st quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,822,254 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $519,177,000 after purchasing an additional 1,088,668 shares during the period. HighTower Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Walmart in the 1st quarter worth approximately $135,801,000. Cibc World Markets Corp grew its position in Walmart by 147.7% in the 4th quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp now owns 1,096,164 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $158,012,000 after purchasing an additional 653,581 shares during the period. Finally, Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado grew its position in Walmart by 239.8% in the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 902,432 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $130,086,000 after purchasing an additional 636,884 shares during the period. 29.21% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
WMT has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. The Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $170.00 target price on shares of Walmart in a research report on Tuesday, May 18th. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Walmart from $172.00 to $179.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 19th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Walmart from $163.00 to $173.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, May 24th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their price target on shares of Walmart from $165.00 to $181.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Walmart from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $149.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, May 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and twenty-two have given a buy rating to the company. Walmart has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $162.20.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, May 18th. The retailer reported $1.69 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.21 by $0.48. Walmart had a net margin of 2.18% and a return on equity of 19.92%. The firm had revenue of $138.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $131.53 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.18 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts forecast that Walmart Inc. will post 5.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Walmart announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 18th that authorizes the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to repurchase up to 5.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 1,549,788 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.27, for a total value of $220,488,338.76. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $960,120,476.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, major shareholder Alice L. Walton sold 415,526 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.52, for a total transaction of $58,389,713.52. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 6,748,580 shares in the company, valued at $948,310,461.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 9,235,353 shares of company stock worth $1,301,680,977. Insiders own 50.43% of the company’s stock.
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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