NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Walmart (WMT - Get Report) stock has been initiated as "overweight" with an $87 price target, Morgan Stanley said Tuesday. The firm said improved fundamentals for lower-end consumers and an uptick in food price inflation should lead to stronger comps and possible expansion.
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------------------Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WAL-MART STORES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate WAL-MART STORES INC (WMT) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- WMT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $5,939.00 million or 21.35% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, WAL-MART STORES INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 11.91%.
- WAL-MART STORES INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WAL-MART STORES INC reported lower earnings of $4.86 versus $5.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.15 versus $4.86).
- In its most recent trading session, WMT has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: WMT Ratings Report