Granite Investment Advisors LLC lessened its stake in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) by 6.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 185,142 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 13,121 shares during the period. Wal-Mart Stores comprises about 2.6% of Granite Investment Advisors LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 8th biggest position. Granite Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Wal-Mart Stores were worth $14,537,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Winfield Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 5.8% during the 2nd quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,373 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $104,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 89.2% during the 1st quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $106,000 after purchasing an additional 696 shares in the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 3.3% during the 2nd quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,429 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $108,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 124.2% during the 2nd quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 1,910 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $145,000 after purchasing an additional 1,058 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SRS Capital Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Wal-Mart Stores by 75.2% during the 1st quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 2,099 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $151,000 after purchasing an additional 901 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.19% of the company’s stock.

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In related news, major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 775,958 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.24, for a total value of $62,262,869.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,507,224 shares in the company, valued at approximately $843,099,653.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 646,330 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.20, for a total transaction of $51,835,666.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,344,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $268,265,471.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 9,924,828 shares of company stock valued at $785,676,492. 51.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) opened at 85.98 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $256.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.66 and a beta of 0.29. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $80.08 and a 200 day moving average price of $77.67. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 12-month low of $65.28 and a 12-month high of $86.95.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The retailer reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.01. Wal-Mart Stores had a net margin of 2.60% and a return on equity of 16.87%. The company had revenue of $123.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $121.86 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.07 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post $4.37 EPS for the current year.

Wal-Mart Stores declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program 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 programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

WMT has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) set a $84.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $88.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $74.00 target price on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $84.11.

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.

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

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