Hurricane season kicked off in a hurry this year with Hurricane Dennis causing a stink in the Florida panhandle over the weekend. Some retailers tend to thrive when intense storms come barreling ashore. No one is surprised when hardware superstores like Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) produce stellar numbers as they meet the spike in demand for plywood and power generators.

Well, on Saturday Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) was already seeing a spike in July sales as a result of Dennis, well before the storm landed stateside. The company is sticking to its initial July guidance; it still sees same-store sales growing between 3% to 5% for the month. Coming off last month's 4.5% surge in comps -- its best showing in over a year -- this would be yet another strong showing for the company just as we move into the critical back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.

Coming in at the high end of its range would trump even June's heady showing. It would also vindicate investors who have seen Wal-Mart's earnings double over the past five years while the stock has remained mostly stagnant.

The fact that Wal-Mart is selling a ton of batteries and canned foods in the Southeast in preparation for what seems to be a wicked hurricane season is just gravy at this point. The company is performing well and it won't be long before that is reflected in the stock.

Other discounters like Target (NYSE:TGT) and Sears' (NASDAQ:SHLD) Kmart are likely beneficiaries of the same trends that are working in Wal-Mart's favor these days. The difference here is that those stocks have been performing pretty well in recent years, especially Kmart before its merger with Sears.

Wal-Mart is working on a different kind of hurricane these days. But investors may be surprised at the calm within the eye of the storm.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz lives in Florida, so he knows the drill when it comes to preparing for major storms. He does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.