August 7, 2008 / 3:05 PM / 10 years ago

RESEARCH ALERT-William Blair cuts Wal-Mart to market perform

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)

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