Wal- Mart, the world’s largest retail business, is experiencing a drop in share price after e-mails were leaked, according to a report issued by International Business Times on Tuesday, February 19, 2013.
Based on the leaked e-mails from different corporate executives, Wal- Mart isn’t having a very good month of February, 2013. Jerry Murray, Wal- Mart’s vice president of finance, stated in his e-mail that the month’s sales figures are the lowest he has seen in seven years. Vice President Cameron Geiger complains in another leaked e-mail that the results are not good and that customers are not purchasing at the pace they usually do. “Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S. Where are all the customers? And where’s their money?”, Geiger asks in an e-mail message. Combine the bleak messages together and you have what looks like a potentially disastrous month for the world’s largest retailer.
Wal- Mart analysts caution that these messages cannot be taken completely seriously because no one knows for certain what context they were intended. Was Jerry Murray referring to the company as a whole, or just a certain division? Likewise, Geiger could be frustrated that sales are not where he would like them to be, but that does not necessarily mean they are extremely low.
A spokesperson for Wal- Mart advised CNBC that the messages cannot be taken at face value. They are, after all, internal messages between executives and are not always entirely accurate. One person’s opinion of what is considered “low” or “slow sales” could be considered acceptable sales by someone else.
Wall Street’s reaction to the news has been negative. The shares fell on Friday and are down again today. Wal- Mart will announce earnings for the fourth quarter on Thursday and, given the negative content of these leaked e-mail messages, investors will be watching closely.
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