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Wal-Mart sticks with guidance despite suit

CHICAGO — Though a federal judge in a case pending against Wal-Mart has green lighted what may become the largest civil rights class-action suit in U.S. history, the retailer does not expect the case to have any impact on earnings.

Speaking today at an analyst seminar here, Wal-Mart's Jay Fitzsimmons, senior vice president of finance and treasurer, reconfirmed the company's EPS guidance of 60 cents to 62 cents for the second quarter and $2.35 to $2.39 for the fiscal year.

Judge Martin Jenkins, ruling for the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, has certified the class status of 1.6 million who have employed by the retailer from Dec. 26, 1998, on. The suit was originally filed in 2001 and accuses Wal-Mart of discriminating against women.

In response to the ruling, Wal-Mart pledged to seek an appeal to the decision.

"Let's keep in mind that today's ruling has absolutely nothing to do with the merits of the case," the company said in a statement. "Judge Jenkins is simply saying he thinks it meets the legal requirements necessary to move forward as a class action."

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