Wharf shares jumped 2.95 per cent yesterday, despite news that it could be forced to pay up to HK$1 billion due to legal actions pending in Hong Kong and the United States. The stocks closed at HK$31.40, an increase of 90 cents. On Monday, Wharf said it would take responsibility for about HK$400 million in damages awarded last month against Wheelock Marden & Co, which it took over in 1985. Wharf also faces potential damages of US$70 million in a legal dispute with a US cable television company. Analysts said most of the bad news concerning the Wheelock Marden lawsuit had already been priced into Wharf's share price. HSBC James Capel analyst Vincent Luk said: 'The share price discounted a little too much. No matter how good or how bad a stock, everything has its price.' He said that if the US suit went against Wharf, the share price would fall further. Fundamentally, the stock was looking healthier, largely due to property developments. 'In the longer term, we think their core earnings prospects will be very good in the next few years, because of more development profits and rental income,' a British investment bank analyst said.