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Supervalu profit plummets in Q1 on lost tax benefit

BY Dan Berthiaume

Eden Prairie, Minn. – The loss of a large tax benefit caused Supervalu’s net income to plummet 49% in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 to $43 million from $85 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue slipped to $5.23 billion from $5.24 billion.

After-tax charges and costs for employee severance and debt financing activities also impacted net income results. Supervalu still managed to meet Wall Street expectations for net income and beat expectations for revenue, and president/CEO Sam Duncan struck a positive tone in his comments.

"Fiscal 2015 is off to a solid start across our business segments,” said Duncan. “Our first quarter results reflect the investments we are making this year to position the company for future success and I am pleased with our operating performance.”

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Wal-Mart ordered to provide investors bribery files

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has lost its bid to keep files regarding an internal probe of possible bribes paid to Mexican officials to aid real estate deals out of the hands of investors. The Delaware Supreme Court has upheld a 2013 ruling by a lower Delaware state court mandating that Wal-Mart provide the files to several investors.

In 2005, executives in Wal-Mart’s Mexican operation told senior management that at least $24 million in bribes had been paid to Mexican government officials in order to ease the process of building warehouses and stores. The payments were not disclosed in regulatory filings until 2011 and U.S. and Mexican officials are investigating whether the payments can be considered criminal.

Wal-Mart investors including the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System and the Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund are seeking access to the files. Wal-Mart had appealed the previous ruling to the state’s highest court.

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EBay makes $3.5 billion debt offering

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose, Calif. – EBay is offering $3.48 billion in debt bonds in a sale that will close July 28. EBay intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, for general corporate purposes including loan repayments.

$400 million of the debt will mature in 2017, with the rest coming due in stages through 2024.

The offering is being made through an underwriting syndicate led by Citigroup Global Markets Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, as joint book-running managers, and Barclays Capital Inc., BNP Paribas Securities Corp., BNY Mellon Capital Markets, LLC, Credit Suisse Securities LLC, HSBC Securities Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC, RBS Securities Inc., Standard Chartered Bank and The Williams Capital Group, L.P., as co-managers.

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