The Rev. Franklin Graham Monday bashed Target Corporation officials for being "in denial" over the company's dismal financial results after announcing its "dangerous" transgender bathroom policy last month.
"Target stock is tumbling after they announced a pro-transgender restroom policy allowing men to use women’s bathrooms and changing rooms," Graham, who heads both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Samaritan's Purse global charity, said on Facebook
. "Stock value has fallen 20 percent and shareholder value has lost $10 billion since they began promoting this dangerous policy."
Target announced last Wednesday its net income for the first quarter totaled, $632 million, down slightly from $635 million from the same period last year. Revenues fell 5.4 percent, to $16.2 billion, though primarily because of Target’s sale of its pharmacies last year to CVS Health.
The results were less than expected on Wall Street — and the retailer's stock price fell nearly 8 percent in the biggest one-day drop since September 2008, the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis reports.
Target's shares fell 73 cents Monday, to close at $67.93 on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares are off more than 26 percent from a high of $85.81 last June.
In a conference call with reporters, Target officials noted that second-quarter sales were slower because of lower consumer demand and protests over the transgender bathroom policy, The Street reports.
"We have seen a noticeable slowdown post-Easter," Target CFO Cathy Smith said on the conference call. CEO Brian Cornell, said the lower sales came from unfavorable weather trends in the Northeast and volatile economic trends.
He added, though, that Target had not seen a "material" impact to its overall business because of the protests, but has seen sales suffer in a "handful" of stores, the Street reports.
Cornell would not quantify the extent of the hit, according to the report.
In his post, Graham mocked Cornell's weather explanation.
"Really?" he asked. "He must be in denial.
"Wake up corporate America and stockholders — American families clearly do not want this," Graham said.
He urged followers to sign an online petition
sponsored by the American Family Association boycotting Target over the transgender policy.
"This is sending a strong message," Graham said.
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