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Stuff Still Cheap at Walmart After Christmas

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Retailer says discounts will continue after holidays.

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This year, even after St. Nick returns home to the North Pole, the deals will continue at Walmart (WMT).

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based behemoth, with a market cap of $203 billion, reported Wednesday morning that it will keep offering its holiday deals to spendthrift consumers after Christmas.

The front office at Walmart said that, beginning December 26 through New Year's Day, it's offering new deals such as a $50 Walmart Gift Card with an Xbox 360 purchase, an eMachine netbook for $228, and up to 50% off on hundreds of toys and other items.

The company said it will also extend other previously announced holiday deals such as its selection of Blu-ray movies for under $20.

Walmart of course has been hard at work doing what it can to entice penny-pinching shoppers into its well-lit aisles.

Ahead of the holidays, for instance, the company announced plans to make it easier for moms and dads to stuff stockings with Transformers and Barbie dolls, offering more than 100 toys for $10 each.

Research analysts covering the company write that Walmart, with its $400 billion-plus in annual revenue, dominates the retail landscape here in the US, benefiting more than many of its rivals from stressed consumers trading down.

The company traditionally catered to less affluent customers but, with this lousy labor market and shaky prospects for our economy, a lot more folks discovered the delight of discounts.

In fact, notes Morningstar analyst Joel Bloomer, Walmart now accounts for almost 10% of total retail sales in the country.

In a research note, Bloomer wrote that if the economic recovery is as mild as he expects, Walmart should be able to continue its rapid growth internationally and slow but steady growth domestically.

He pegs fair value on this one at $60.

In midday trading on Wednesday, Walmart was up 0.3% to $53.48.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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