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Aug 7 (Reuters) - William Blair & Co downgraded Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) to "market perform" from "outperform," based on valuation, lower confidence in upside to earnings-per-share estimates, and expectations of sequentially slower top- and bottom-line growth in the second half of the year.
The brokerage expects Wal-Mart's earnings-per-share growth to moderate during the second half of the year to a high-single-digit range against more difficult comparisons in a solid second half of 2007.
Wal-Mart shares were trading down more than 4 percent at $58.25 Thursday morning on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)