Walmart shareholders may wish the company were investigated more often, judging from the performance of shares since alleged violations by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act first surfaced.
Walmart share’s closed Friday at $65.55, or 5% higher than the $62.45 price they were trading at on Friday, April 20 before The New York Times first reported on allegations of FCPA violations.
The gains may have resulted from the gathering momentum of the company’s U.S. business or Walmart’s status as a safe haven in an uncertain world. It may also have helped that Walmart was an aggressive purchaser of its own stock during May, based on information culled from recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Walmart spent nearly $1.6 billion to repurchase approximately 26.3 million shares at an average price of $60.43 during the first quarter ended April 30. However the pace of repurchase activity picked up in May as Walmart bought 18.4 million shares during the month and it appears to have gotten a good deal following the pullback that resulted after the Times article appeared.
Walmart shares closed at $62.45 on Friday, April 20, but after the Times piece hit over the weekend shares opened sharply lower the following Monday at $59.15. By midweek they had sank even further to hit a low of $57.36. By the middle of May, shares had climbed back to above $60 and by last Friday’s close of $65.55 the stock had regained all of its lost ground and then some.