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5 Big Consumer Stocks to Buy on the Cheap

Wal-Mart

Last, but certainly not least, is Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report). The world's biggest retailer is just now coming off the heels of a strong year, after rallying more than 16% in the last 12 months. But that doesn't mean that WMT's shares are expensive right now -- quite the contrary. Wal-Mart currently trades for a huge 41% P/E discount compared to the rest of the retail industry, and a 50% cash flow discount.

With more than 10,000 stores worldwide, the retailer sells to more than 200 million customers each week in total. Wal-Mart's retail success is all based on price. Because of Wal-Mart's giant scale, the firm can compete on selling prices in a way that other retailers can't -- so it's willing to cede margins in favor of sales volume; nearly $450 billion in annual revenues speaks to that. Wal-Mart also owns pricing power in a way that most other retail stores can only dream of. Because Wal-Mart is many suppliers' biggest customer, they have to keep their own prices extremely low to keep the relationship alive.

A strong balance sheet rounds out the picture for Wal-Mart. The firm sports $8.6 billion in cash, and a $57 billion debt load that includes lease obligations. That amount of leverage is reasonable for a big retail name like Wal-Mart, and it's easily covered by the firm's hefty cash generation capabilities. Even though most investors don't expect to find a bargain in a behemoth consumer stock like Wal-Mart, it's there right now.

To see these value-centric names in action, check out the Consumer Stock Bargains for 2013 portfolio on Stockpickr.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji, CMT, is a senior market analyst at Agora Financial in Baltimore and a contributor to TheStreet. Before that, he managed a portfolio of stocks for an investment advisory returned 15% in 2008. He has been featured in Forbes , Investor's Business Daily, and on CNBC.com. Jonas holds a degree in financial economics from UMBC and the Chartered Market Technician designation.

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