Execs complain about the worst start-of-the month sales in 7 years
Wal-Mart has experienced a notable drop in stock price on Friday, after internal emails from company executives have been leaked.The emails convey that the company has experienced poor sales in the month of February. According to the Examiner, Jerry Murray, Wal-Mart's vice president of finance and logistics, describes this month's numbers as the worst he has seen in 7 years, referring to start-of-the-month sales.
In one of the emails, Senior Replenishment Vice President Cameron Geiger complains about a lack of positive results, even as the staff puts in the necessary effort to keep sales up.
He mentions that customers do not seem to be interested in purchasing goods and do not allocate large sums of money for shopping. Stockholders are now waiting for Wal-Mart to announce its fourth-quarter earnings next Thursday.
“We'll have to see what Wal-Mart has to say next Thursday and we don't know the exact context of this email, but you could extrapolate that low-end consumers are certainly being adversely affected by the payroll-tax increase and higher gasoline prices,” managing director at Lazard Capital Markets, Art Hogan comments.
“Wal-Mart does bear watching for hints that there was a slowdown, but I would be hesitant to say the consumer is done. The consumer is very resilient,” adds Deutsche Bank chief U.S. economist Joseph LaVorgna.
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) shares fell 2.2 percent last Friday, during what was a bad day for general store stocks. Macy's, Family Dollar, Dollar General and Target also dropped one percent.
Meanwhile, reps are dubbing the content of the emails personal views, which do not represent the company.
“As with any organization, we often see internal communications that are not entirely accurate, that lack the proper context and represent individual opinions,” a spokesperson for the company says, in a statement relayed by CNBC.