According to Reuters, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has been considering closing approximately 5% of their stores located in Brazil as the company looks to elininate some of their underperforming locations in a cost-cutting move. Although nothing has been confirmed quite yet, the retail giant is considering shutting down as many as 30 stores and possibly renting the locations out to other companies, particularly furniture retailers. Walmart told Reuters that it is “constantly reviewing its portfolio and making decisions based on what’s best for the business and clients.”
The potential move comes as the company’s net sales in the country have dropped 0.4% in the third quarter, and sales at locations which have been open one year or more have fallen by 0.6%. The stock is up 0.55% or $0.33 following the news, hitting $60.87 per share. About 3.65 million shares traded hands. WMT has declined 20.24% since May 20, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 17.97%.
From a total of 22 analysts covering Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) stock, 4 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 17 a “Hold”. This means that 18% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $84 while the lowest target price is $55. The mean of all analyst targets is $67.55 which is 10.97% above today’s ($60.87) stock price. Wal-Mart Stores Inc was the topic of 36 analyst reports since August 14, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. M Partners maintained shares on November 18 with a “Neutral” rating. Credit Suisse downgraded shares to a”Neutral” rating and a $62 target share price in their report from an October 15. Citigroup initiated WMT stock in a recent report from November 9 with a “Neutral” rating. Bank of America downgraded the rating on October 15. Bank of America has a “Neutral” rating and a $65 price target on shares. Finally, S&P Research downgraded the stock to a “Hold” rating in a report they issued on an October 15.
The institutional sentiment increased to 1 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.01, from 0.99 in 2015Q2. The ratio is positive, as 106 funds sold all their Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. shares they owned while 518 reduced their positions. 86 funds bought stakes while 537 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 869.10 million shares which is 10.24% less than the previous share count of 968.23 million in 2015Q2.
Cook & Bynum Capital Management Llc holds 20.48% of its total portfolio in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., equating to 529,529 shares. Cullinan Associates Inc owns 3.35 million shares representing 19.87% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Rwwm Inc. has 15.74% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 488,323 shares. The New York-based Gabalex Capital Management Llc has a total of 12.62% of their portfolio invested in the stock. General Re New England Asset Management Inc, a Connecticut-based fund reported 7.36 million shares owned.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units in various formats around the world. The company has a market cap of $193.56 billion. The Firm offers an assortment of merchandise and services at everyday low prices . It has 13.05 P/E ratio. The Company’s activities are conducted in three divisions: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club.