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Big Lots
Big Lots
Debt as a % of capital: 20%
Return on capital: 13%

The slowing economy has hammered retailers but Big Lots has managed to maintain a strong position.

Big Lots' same store sales, a key measure of a retailer's performance, rose 3.4% in the first quarter. And the Columbus, Ohio-based company has posted better-than-expected earnings over the past eight quarters.

Many analysts say Big Lots' business model is particularly well suited to the current economic climate.

Big Lots buys closeout merchandise from retailers at a discount and sells it to value-minded customers. This strategy has enabled the company to "take advantage of weakness elsewhere," says Patrick Mckeever, an analyst at MKM Partners LLC.

"There are a lot of distressed retailers out there right now," he said. And Big Lots has been snapping up bargains left and right. Mckeever said the company's recent $20 million buy of slightly higher-end furniture line Broyhill will help improve sales even further.

NEXT: Accenture

Last updated June 20 2008: 1:08 PM ET
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