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Walmart Sues Synchrony: Here's What Investors Need to Know

By Motley Fool Staff – Nov 8, 2018 at 10:07AM

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The retail giant filed a major lawsuit against its former credit card co-branding partner.

Several months after the dissolution of their credit card partnership was announced, retail giant Walmart (WMT -2.50%) has filed an $800 million lawsuit against Synchrony Financial (SYF -1.55%), alleging that Synchrony's underwriting practices caused steeper-than-expected credit card losses.

In this Industry Focus: Financials clip, host Jason Moser and contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, discuss the lawsuit and what it could mean for investors.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Nov. 5, 2018.

Jason Moser: From @BTCapital12 asks, "Can you guys comment on the lawsuit filed by Walmart against Synchrony? Do you think it's really just part of a bargaining strategy for the receivables? Or is there more to this? Also, do you then think Capital One is getting the short end of the stick as they won the Walmart deal?" Folks, remember, you can always reach out to us via Twitter. These are some great questions here. What do you have there for BTCapital here, Matt?

Matt Frankel: It's kind of a he-said, she-said at this point. Walmart is claiming that Synchrony didn't use great underwriting standards when approving people for their co-branded card, and it resulted in higher than expected losses, and therefore lower income for Walmart than they were promised with the deal. They're suing for $800 million to recoup whatever they feel they lost. Synchrony's claim is that this is a baseless lawsuit, they used the same underwriting standards that they use for all of their store credit card products, and that Walmart is just trying to get out of paying market value for that loan portfolio, which they agreed to do if they broke the deal.

The outcome of this remains to be seen. I tend to think that Synchrony will be the winner. I don't think Walmart's going to get $800 million dollars out of them. They may end up settling at some point. Synchrony's business goes beyond the Walmart partnership. I think at their growth rate, they'll make up the lost revenue, and they're not terribly worried about the Walmart revenue. They just want to put it behind them at this point, and the lawsuit is preventing them from doing that.

Moser: Sounds good. I appreciate that, Matt, and I'm sure our listeners do, too.

Jason Moser has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Matthew Frankel, CFP has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Walmart Stock Quote
$130.06 (-2.50%) $-3.33
Synchrony Financial Stock Quote
Synchrony Financial
$29.27 (-1.55%) $0.46

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