Thursday, October 5, 2017

Walker Wildmon: Find something constructive to do before it is too late

Walker Wildmon is astonishingly unsophisticated when it comes to finance. That doesn't stop him from opining with the confidence of an expert. It is arrogance from ignorance. Continuing to work for AFA is not going to make Walker any smarter.

American Family Association, a hate group,  is currently run by Tim Wildmon, son of founder Don Wildmon. Tim's son, Walker Wildmon, seems to be gaining responsibilities. AFA is just like many other family businesses. There are lots of Wildmon family members at their trough. Even Don Wildmon took in $132,000 last year while he admits (on the 990) that he devoted no time to the affairs of AFA. The old prick must need the money.

Were Walker independently employed he might be getting some training and gaining some business skills. He might also have more humility related to what he knows and what he does not know. If Walker had normal parents they might be deeply concerned about his apparent lack of curiosity.

Case in point is a piece in AFA's “news” blog regarding Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT). AFA's Chris Woodward notes that Target is making some headlines by increasing its minimum hourly rate to $11.00. It plans to increase that to $15.00 by 2020. Then there is this:
The country's second-largest retailer also announced it's increasing its Christmas season hiring by 40 percent and lowering prices on many store items.

Taken together with the pay increase, says Walker Wildmon of the American Family Association, it appears Target is desperately attempting to improve its public image.
The piece closes with this:
“The reason their sales are falling, and the reason their stock value is so degraded,” says Wildmon, “is because of their policy which allows men access to women's restrooms and changing rooms.”
The transphobia is obvious. Calling them men, Wildmon demonstrates his undue contempt for trans women, people who are different. Yet I wonder if young Mr. Wildmon is capable of some independent research? Does he have sufficient curiosity to want to understand some financial basics about Target?

In point of fact, Target isn't desperate to do anything and their sales are not falling. Let me point out a few fundamentals for the Christian fundamentalist:
  • Because of stable finances, Target shares have a dividend yield of approximately 4.2%. It is an approximation because, obviously, the yield will vary with the share price.
  • For the fiscal second quarter ended July 29 Target had an earnings increase for continuing operations of 14.2%.
  • Target beat analysts' estimates for both sales and earnings.
  • Sales increased 1.3% on an increase in traffic of 2.1%
  • Most importantly the company adjusted its earnings guidance for the year from $3.80-$4.20 to $4.34-$4.54 per share.
Now Walker: Just because daddy says that Target is reeling from AFA's silly boycott doesn't make it so. The company has a legal obligation to put forth accurate information. They have said that the boycott has had no material effect on earnings. Publicly held companies are required to file annual and quarterly reports (“10-K” and “10-Q” respectively) with the S.E.C.. There is no mention of a boycott in either its report for the year ended January 28, 2017 or for the quarter ended July 29.

If young Mr. Wildmon is truly interested in finances, he should consider those of his employer. AFA took quite a haircut in the year ended June 30, 2016.

Click to enlarge
As you can see, donations decreased by more than 40% or about $11 million. A surplus of $1.8 million in 2015 became a $1.7 million deficit in 2016. This was after decreasing total expenses by 28% (although salaries increased).

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