Media stories about Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) have trended somewhat positive this week, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. The research group identifies negative and positive media coverage by monitoring more than 20 million blog and news sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Wal-Mart Stores earned a news sentiment score of 0.05 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave media stories about the retailer an impact score of 46.5359639130019 out of 100, indicating that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the next several days.

These are some of the news articles that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s scoring:

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on WMT. Macquarie set a $85.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday. Goldman Sachs Group raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $114.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Saturday, January 13th. Stephens set a $117.00 price target on Wal-Mart Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Finally, Vetr raised Wal-Mart Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $104.38 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Eighteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $99.44.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) traded up $1.61 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $104.30. The company had a trading volume of 12,310,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,170,000. The company has a quick ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. The stock has a market cap of $308,980.00, a PE ratio of 27.74, a P/E/G ratio of 3.98 and a beta of 0.37. Wal-Mart Stores has a 1 year low of $65.28 and a 1 year high of $104.94.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 16th. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.97 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $122.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $120.23 billion. Wal-Mart Stores had a return on equity of 16.92% and a net margin of 2.31%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.98 EPS. analysts predict that Wal-Mart Stores will post 4.44 EPS for the current year.

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

In other Wal-Mart Stores news, EVP John R. Furner sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.29, for a total value of $119,148.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 48,757 shares in the company, valued at $4,841,082.53. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director S Robson Walton sold 826,617 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.39, for a total value of $79,677,612.63. Following the completion of the sale, 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. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock valued at $1,207,333,538. 51.39% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

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