Wal-Mart Critics Get Audience with Wall Street


Wall Street analysts should hear what Wal-Mart critics have to say, considering the stock’s ongoing lackluster performance, one analyst told Erin Burnett on “Street Signs.”

“The job of a stock analyst is to construct a mosaic out of lots of little bits of brightly colored glass and this is just one of those pieces of the puzzle,” said Mark Husson, a retail analyst with HSBC Securities. “Every analyst ought to be aware at least of what they’re saying. They’ve done their research and it ought to be heard.”

“Wake Up Wal-Mart,” a lobbying group that calls for the retail giant to be more labor-friendly, will plead their case directly to the financial community on Monday. They argue that Wal-Mart’s reputational issues are hurting sales, Husson said.

Among the topics on the table: the retailer's hiring policies, its internal corporate spying scandal and the proposed dismissal of CEO Lee Scott.

But Husson said an ouster is not likely, considering the management team should be judged on its three-year plan for improvement.

“All the talk about changing leadership is premature given that you can’t be judged on a job that’s half done,” said Husson, who has a neutral rating on the stock and a price target of $53. “The problem is that the results tend to be back-end loaded” and many things are still unknown.