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For many years, the large retail firm Wal-Mart chose not to provide guidance. The firm's legendary founder, Sam Walton, wrote in his autobiography that he did not care what the market thought. Beginning in 1994, Wal-Mart's earnings announcements generated a string of negative surprises. In the resulting post-earnings-announcement drift, Wal-Mart's cumulative abnormal return relative to the S&P 500, drifted down for the subsequent four years. Wal-Mart's situation changed dramatically in 1998. An article appearing in Fortune magazine described Wal-Mart stock as being hot again, and noted that the reason stemmed from earnings. The article described Wal-Mart as having applied its "Main Street marketing skills to its interactions with Wall Street analysts. Discuss what it means to apply "Main Street marketing skills.

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