In another related note from our friends at Motley regards Ford and KOSS:
Obviously this devastating condition is not unique to Ford. Almost all American companies who have business operations in Europe are feeling the pinch of the contraction in the European economy. The huge financial crisis in Europe is creating a sudden lag in US exports as European customers are buying less US products and services. From consumer nondurable goods companies like Kraft Foods to electronics companies like Koss Corporation, all of them are facing a shrinking top line. All of these companies will continue to experience this difficult situation until the European crisis eases, and Ford will definitely not be an exception.
Feb 15 (Reuters) - Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc fell 2.1 percent on Friday after Bloomberg quoted a mid-level executive's email as saying the world's largest retailer had the worst sales start to any month in seven years in February.
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 Feb. 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 Feb. 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?