The Walton Family Holdings Trust sold $256 million of Wal-Mart Stores as shares hovered around highs for the year.
The trust unloaded 3.5 million shares at prices ranging from $72.45 to $74.28 on Aug. 19 and 22, according to a regulatory filing. Those transactions follow $104 million of sales at the end of June at prices between $70.67 and $71.86. Shares of the retailer have climbed this year after closing at a four-year low of $56.42 in November. Seventy-seven percent of analysts tracked by Bloomberg have a hold rating on the stock, with an average 12-month price target of $73.68.
Walton Enterprises, the family’s main investment entity, distributed about 6 percent of the shares to the trust in April 2015. The family said in a statement that it expects to sell shares from time to time to help fund charitable contributions and offset possible further increases in its ownership percentage as a result of the company’s stock buyback programs.
The trust now owns about 170 million shares of the business, the filings show. That’s a fraction of the 1.4 billion shares held by Walton Enterprises. Together the two entities own 51 percent of the retailer.
Spokesmen for Wal-Mart and the Walton family directed Bloomberg to the April 2015 statement.