Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



How Horsemeat and Internal Emails Sent Wal-Mart Lower Today

What's worse than a scandal involving horsemeat and "beef" Bolognese pasta sauce?

Here's what: a scandal involving horsemeat and "beef" Bolognese past sauce and a scandal involving financially sensitive internal emails leaked to the media.

Welcome to Wal-Mart's (NYSE: WMT  ) life today.

With an hour left in the trading session, shares of the retail giant have led the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) into negative territory. But while the blue-chip index is down 45 points, or 0.32%, shares of the Bentonville, Ark.-based company are off 3%.

What happened at Wal-Mart?
The world's largest retailer has found itself in the middle of Europe's horsemeat scandal. As my colleague Matt Thalman discussed earlier, its British arm Asda discovered evidence of horsemeat in a "beef" Bolognese pasta sauce it sells. In a statement published on its website, the company apologized to customers for "any worry, upset or inconvenience" and said that it's "moving swiftly to remove products from sale as a precaution even when there is no direct evidence that one of our products is affected."

More concerning on the financial front, Bloomberg News has published internal emails suggesting a heightened level of internal concern over February sales.

"In case you haven't seen a sales report these days, February [month-to-date] sales are a total disaster," Wal-Mart's vice president of finance and logistics wrote at the beginning of this week. He went on to term it the "worst start to a month I have seen in my seven years with the company." Another executive asked: "Where are all the customers? And where's their money?"

Of course, it's easy to take statements like these out of context when we don't have the rest of the emails to read. At the same time, however, these seemingly unqualified pronouncements are certainly a cause for concern among current Wal-Mart shareholders.

Ready to move on to the new retail frontier?
The retail space is in the midst of the biggest paradigm shift since mail order took off at the turn of the 20th century. Only the most forward-looking and capable companies will survive, and they'll handsomely reward those investors who understand the landscape. You can read about the "3 Companies Ready to Rule Retail" in our special report. Uncovering these top picks is free today; just click here to read more.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2259313, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/30/2016 2:53:02 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 5 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,143.45 -195.79 -1.07%
S&P 500 2,151.13 -20.24 -0.93%
NASD 5,269.15 -49.39 -0.93%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/29/2016 4:35 PM
^DJI $18143.45 Down -195.79 -1.07%
WMT $70.73 Down -1.06 -1.48%
Wal-Mart Stores CAPS Rating: ***