(Reuters) - Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT) fell 3 percent on Friday after Bloomberg quoted a mid-level executive's email as saying the world's largest retailer had the worst sales start to any month in seven years in February.
Wal-Mart executives blamed the poor sales performance on increased payroll taxes as well as delayed tax returns, Bloomberg said.
Higher payroll taxes this year are seen as a potential problem for Wal-Mart and other discount retailers that try to attract lower-income customers who have less disposable income.
"In case you haven't seen a sales report these days, February (month-to-date) sales are a total disaster," Jerry Murray, a Wal-Mart vice president who works on finance in the U.S. logistics division, said in a February 12 email to other executives, Bloomberg reported. "The worst start to a month I have seen in my (about) 7 years with the company."
The weak February sales start came after a disappointing January, according to an email from Cameron Geiger, senior vice president of Wal-Mart U.S. Replenishment, that was also quoted by Bloomberg. The replenishment department works on moving products from distribution centers to stores.
"Have you ever had one of those weeks where your best- prepared plans weren't good enough to accomplish everything you set out to do?" Geiger asked in a February 1 e-mail to company executives. "Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S. Where are all the customers? And where's their money?"
Wal-Mart is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on Thursday and has not pre-reported any sales figures.
Asked for a comment on the Bloomberg report, Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said in a statement, "As with any organization, we often see internal communications that are not entirely accurate, that lack the proper context and represent individual opinions."
Wal-Mart shares were down $2.12 at $68.70 in Friday afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Re: Wal-Mart executives blames the poor sales 1 Year, 6 Months ago
Earl wrote: To the Forum,
Not Bullion but maybe a little "truth in the pudding".
Wal-Mart shares tumble on report of weak February sales
To be precise Earl, it's generally not that we're given "a little truth", but rather (usually) half-truths...a somewhat different species.
The object of the half-truth is to admit that which can no longer be concealed, but then to add the propaganda machine's "spin" to "explain why" these things are happening...and of course that's where the "truth" in the half-truth comes to an abrupt end.
So we're supposed to believe that some 2% tax-increase on the average U.S. family (spread out over the year) SUDDENLY caused "the worst month in seven years"???
Note that only a few months ago I put out THIS piece:
In that piece, I pointed out that (a mere three months ago) McDonalds was reporting "its worth month in NINE years". What does it tell us when WalMart and McDonalds customers can no longer afford to shop there? They can't afford to SHOP. Period.
BullionBullsCanada.com is not a registered investment advisor - Stock information is for educational purposes ONLY. Bullion Bulls Canada does not make "buy" or "sell" recommendations for any company. Rather, we seek to find and identify Canadian companies who we see as having good growth potential. It is up to individual investors to do their own "due diligence" or to consult with their financial advisor - to determine whether any particular company is a suitable investment for themselves.