Shares of Wal-Mart hit a 52-week high on Monday of $62.96. The stock's 52-week low of $48.31 was set on Aug. 10.
Wal-Mart's stock trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 11.72 times; the average for broad-line retailers is 17.48X. For comparison, Target (TGT) has a lower forward P/E of 11.35X.Analyst comment: "According to Wal-Mart, a lot of its price investment took place in grocery, and we know that inflation helped as well, yet grocery comp store sales were up only low single digits," Jefferies analysts wrote in a May 17 report. "Given the color Wal-Mart provided on strong comp store sales for many other areas of the store, it appears the low single digit gain for grocery was in the lower half of the range. This begs the question as to whether 'price investment' really did much to drive the 1% traffic gain in the quarter or if maybe weather helped it more as it did for many other retailers." Eighteen of the 34 analysts who cover Wal-Mart rate it at hold. Fifteen analysts give the stock a buy rating and one rates it at sell. The stock has risen 5.3% year to date.
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