On November 2, 2018, Plaintiff's law firm issued a press release announcing the lawsuit. According to the press release, Synchrony is a consumer financial services company. The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Synchrony falsely represented that its consistent and disciplined underwriting practices had led to a higher quality loan portfolio than those of its competitors. In truth, Synchrony relaxed its underwriting standards and increasingly offered private-label credit cards to riskier borrowers to sustain growth. The truth about Synchrony's credit standards began to be revealed on April 28, 2017, when the Company announced disappointing first quarter 2017 earnings driven by poor loan performance. This news caused Synchrony's shares to decline by $5.25 per share, or nearly 16%.
Following this disclosure, the Company represented that it had tightened credit standards, but falsely characterized those underwriting changes as modest. In fact, the Company had made significant modifications to its underwriting policies, but concealed that these modifications were damaging its relationships with its retail partners, including Walmart.
On July 26, 2018, multiple news outlets reported that Walmart had chosen a competitor to replace Synchrony. Together, these two disclosures caused Synchrony's shares to decline nearly 14%. Then, on November 1, 2018, Walmart sued Synchrony accusing the Company of improper underwriting in connection with the Walmart/Synchrony credit card program. As a result of this disclosure, Synchrony shares declined by over 10%.
On February 5, 2019, the Court issued an Order appointing Lead Plaintiff and Counsel. On March 25, the Court issued an Order consolidating cases. Lead Plaintiff filed an amended Complaint on April 5.