Minor Change, Big Impact

Marshall, Jeffrey
November 2000
Financial Executive;Nov/Dec2000, Vol. 16 Issue 6, p11
Academic Journal
The article states that a change in accounting practice for consumer layaways at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. influenced the department store's third-quarter earnings. Wal-Mart's decision to wait until the consumer paid off the entire layaway balance before recording it as earnings or posting it at the same time as the sale led to a financial market reaction. Investors started selling off shares--in spite of the fact that the company had a quarterly net gain--which made the company's stock price drop by 7.6 percent on the day of the announced revision.


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