Walmart Should Spend Money On Its Workers, Not Share Buybacks: Demos' Traub

June 6, 2014 | | Yahoo! Finance |

There was a lot of pomp and circumstance at Walmart's (WMT) shareholder meeting Friday. In the "pomp" department, over 20,000  of Walmart employees were treated to a star-studded spectacle featuring Pharrell, Robin Thicke, Florida Georgia Line, Sarah McLachlan and Harry Connick Jr., among others. 

Then there were the circumstances. Walmart has suffered five consecutive quarters of declining sales and six consecutive quarters of declining foot traffic. Ahead of the meeting, management faced protests in several cities by workers seeing higher pay and better working conditions. In addition, proxy advisor ISS recommended shareholders vote against the firm's executive compensation plan and for an independent chairman, citing a Mexican bribery scandal that has so far cost Walmart over $400 million. 

The efforts to push back against Walmart's management all failed to pass and shareholders voted to re-elect all 14 board members. (Full disclosure: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is a member of Walmart's board of directors.)