Conning Inc. Acquires 29,883 Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)

Conning Inc. increased its stake in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 7.2% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 447,714 shares of the retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 29,883 shares during the quarter. Wal-Mart Stores accounts for 1.2% of Conning Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 29th largest position. Conning Inc.’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $34,984,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of WMT. Winfield Associates Inc. grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% during the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% during the second quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $108,000 after acquiring an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 456.9% during the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $115,000 after acquiring an additional 1,252 shares in the last quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% during the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,847 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $139,000 after acquiring an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC grew its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 124.2% during the second quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 1,910 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $145,000 after acquiring an additional 1,058 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 30.58% of the company’s stock.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) opened at $100.87 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a current ratio of 0.81. The company has a market cap of $298,820.00, a P/E ratio of 26.83, a P/E/G ratio of 3.68 and a beta of 0.37. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 52 week low of $65.28 and a 52 week high of $102.35.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $122.14 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.31% and a return on equity of 16.92%. Wal-Mart Stores’s revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.98 EPS. analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post 4.43 earnings per share for the current year.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 10th that permits the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, insider Jacqueline P. Canney sold 2,065 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.99, for a total value of $200,284.35. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 19,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,848,629.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 826,617 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.39, for a total transaction of $79,677,612.63. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,345,065 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $322,430,815.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock worth $1,207,333,538. 51.39% of the stock is owned by insiders.

WMT has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Wal-Mart Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, January 6th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $101.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. Jefferies Group set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 14th. Bank of America set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $84.00 price objective (up from $80.00) on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Eighteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $98.46.

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Wal-Mart Stores Company Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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