The state of panic came after emails from Cameron Geiger, Walmart's Senior Vice President and Jerry Murray, Walmart's vice president of finance and logistics, shed light on the company's rough sales in the month of February, the Examiner reported.
The emails describe the worst month of sales in seven years.
“In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, Wal-Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales. “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”
“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 Feb. 1 e-mail to 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 fell 2.2 percent to $69.30 yesterday at the close in New York for the biggest decline since Dec. 12. The shares rose 12 percent in the 12 months through yesterday, compared with a 9.4 percent gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
In regards to the leaked e-mailed, Walmart was quick to dissipate panic through a statement saying employees' internal correspondence does not show an accurate reflection of a company's financial standing.
However, according to CNBC, other major retailers including Macy's, Family Dollar, Dollar General and Target also experienced a drop in their stock, with their shares falling more than 1 percent.
Miller Tabak Chief Economic Strategist Andrew Wilkinson attributes the lack of sales to a delay in the tax refunds given out by the IRS. "The IRS delayed the filing process to the end of January and as a result early filers accustomed to receiving refund checks are running behind schedule this year. According to a one source, tax refunds this time one year ago were running at $19 billion."