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
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- National Ice Cream Day: Most-Ordered Flavors and Toppings by Americans [See Photos]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
- Photos from the Crash Site of Malaysia Airlines MH17 In Ukraine
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
- Fresh Leak Hints iPhone 6 Price and Release Date; 4.7-Inches iPhone 6 Sapphire Display Scratched in Test; New Spigen Cases Out
- iPhone 6 2014 Release Date Very Soon as Apple Orders 120M New iPhones from Foxconn – Report
- Google Nexus 6 on Release Date Will Sport 2K Display Panel & Lower Price Tag – Report
- Motorola Moto G Vs. Xiaomi Mi3 – Low in Price, High -level Features
- FCC Approves Sony Xperia Z3 for U.S. Market
- Killer Xiaomi Mi4 at $369 Likely to Come With 5.0-Inch Display, Snapdragon 801 Processor, 3GB RAM and More
- End of Times Indicators: Japan’s Mount Fuji in ‘Critical State’ to Erupt, Could Affect At Least 1.2M People