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Wal-Mart says loss likely from bribery probe

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm •  Published: March 27, 2013

"Given the on-going nature and complexity of the review, inquiries and investigations, we cannot reasonably estimate any loss or range of loss that may arise from these matters," Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart said in the filing.

The company said it does not currently think the lawsuits will have a "material adverse effect" on its business but said it is possible that could change in the future.

"This is clearly a bad action, if found guilty, but we believe these issues and penalties will not dramatically impair their balance sheet and its ongoing business model," especially in the U.S., Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser said in a note to investors.

He cited other cases where companies have been penalized for violating the FCPA. The biggest was Siemens, which paid $800 million to U.S. authorities and $800 million to German authorities in 2008. Even if Wal-Mart paid that, Strasser said, it would still be able to absorb the costs without significant problems.

On the positive side, Strasser said the company has slowed growth and capital spending internationally, which should help its balance sheet.

He kept his "Buy" rating on the stock.

Shares rose 1 cent to close at $74.78 Wednesday.