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Wal-Mart Stock: Should You Buy Now?

Wal-Mart Stores announced a new $15 billion share repurchase program and said it'll increase its fiscal-year dividend by 15 percent, to $1.09 per share.

But this comes the same week that the world's largest retailer stopped reporting its same-store sales on a monthly basis.

How does the chain's stock value compare to rivals like Target and Costco, which were hurt by rising gasoline prices?

John Lawrence, managing director of equity research at Morgan Keegan, offered CNBC his take.

"Our view is still on Wal-Mart," said Lawrence.

"We just believe in a lot of the things they're doing — the initiative that started a couple of years ago, that continues to be in place — improvement in some of those underperforming categories, can lead to a good second half of this year."

What of the long term?

"Looking forward, some of the investments they're making in technology -- as those costs go away, you can leverage those. Some real opportunity for earnings gains over the next couple of years."

Lawrence maintains his "Outperform" rating on Wal-Mart.

Watch the full interview for more of Lawrence's stock insights.

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Discount Retail Stocks Now:

Target

Costco

BJ's Wholesale Club

Amazon.com

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Disclosures:

Disclosure information was not available for Lawrence or his company.

Disclaimer