Wal-Mart shares fall on report of weak February sales
February 16, 2013 10:00 AM EST
Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc
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. Geiger's email 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 email 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 fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday and has not pre-reported any sales figures.
Analysts on average expect fourth-quarter sales at Walmart U.S. discount stores open at least a year to rise 1.7 percent, excluding gasoline sales, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
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 closed down 2.1 percent at $69.30 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.
(Reporting by Brad Dorfman in Chicago and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; editing by John Wallace and Matthew Lewis)
Most Popular Slideshows
- NFL MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Houston Texans 23 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Tourre on stand says email in SEC case 'not accurate'
- Syrian authorities blocking access to needy in Homs - Red Cross
- Faith in European Union at low ebb, EU poll says
- Former UBS banker gets 18 months, $1 million fine, for muni bid-rigging scheme
- U.S. judge halts challenges to Detroit's bankruptcy bid
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- ASUS Releases A Teaser Indicating The Arrival of New Zenfone and ZenWatch On October 28
- Boy Stoned To Death For Alleged Rape, Victim Receives Dowry From Militants
- Three Dual SIM Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Duos Variants Comes To China
- Russia is Creating Underwater Combat Robots to Protect its Arctic Territories
- ‘Lone Wolf’ Attack on Canada Parliament Hill Could be ISIS-Related
- Android Lollipop 5.0 Confirmed for Nov 3 Rollout as Nexus 6 Global Release Date is Delayed – Reports