- (Reuters/Joshua Lott)
Leaked Wal-Mart emails revealed that the top U.S. retailer's February sales are a "total disaster." Two top executives, Jerry Murray and Cameron Geiger, both had their emails exposed, which led to a drop in the company's stock Friday.
The leaked Wal-Mart email of Murray, the finance and logistics vice president of the multinational retail corporation, explained a sharp drop in the store's sales in 2013, according to a Bloomberg report. Revenue has slumped, he said in the email dated Feb. 12.
"In case you haven't seen a sales report these days, February MTD [month-to-date] sales are a total disaster," Murray wrote. "The worst start to a month I have seen in my [roughly] seven years with the company."
Even earlier than that on Feb. 1, Geiger, the senior vice president of Wal-Mart U.S. replenishment, expressed similar sentiments about the decrease in sales.
"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. "Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S. Where are all the customers? And where's their money?"
The lack of morale from the company executives could be the reason behind the adverse effect in the stock market. Wal-Mart's stock dropped 2.2 percent on Friday, according to CNBC.
Wal-Mart is attempting to do damage control, with a company representative saying the series of emails aren't "accurate" as to the sales numbers.
"As with any organization, we often see internal communications that are not entirely accurate," the rep told The Daily Telegraph. "[They] lack the proper context and represent individual opinions."
It wasn't just Wal-Mart that took a hit in the stock market Friday. Macy's, Family Dollar, Dollar General and Target all fell more than 1 percent, leading some analysts to speculate that the reinstated payroll tax could be hurting consumers. Only Wal-Mart's fourth quarter earnings, which come out Feb. 21, can help assuage the retailer's situation.
"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," Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital Markets, told CNBC.