Trade-Ideas: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Is Today's Unusual Social Activity Stock

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Wal-Mart Stores as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • WMT has 19x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 18.20 mentions/day.
  • WMT has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $470.5 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on WMT:

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2.4%. WMT has a PE ratio of 15.4. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Wal-Mart Stores has been 6.2 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $256.3 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. The stock has a beta of 0.27 and a short float of 1.6% with 4.40 days to cover. Shares are up 15.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • WMT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • WAL-MART STORES INC has improved earnings per share by 5.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WAL-MART STORES INC increased its bottom line by earning $5.02 versus $4.55 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.20 versus $5.02).
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Food & Staples Retailing industry and the overall market, WAL-MART STORES INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $6,357.00 million or 3.18% 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 -0.16%.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.
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