A fourth law firm has joined in the assault on Apple, launching its own class action against the company that alleges shareholder fraud. Earlier this month, two law firms launched class actions against Apple, and they were joined by a third earlier this week. Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP threw its hat into the ring with its own class action that mirrors the first three. The suits allege that Apple misrepresented its fortunes in advance of run up in the value of the stock only to have that stock plummet in value shortly thereafter. From Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP:
The Law Firm of Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP announced today that a class action has been filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington on behalf of purchasers of Apple Computer, Inc. ("Apple" or the "Company") publicly traded securities during the period between July 19, 2000- September 28, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period"). A copy of the complaint filed in this action is available from the Court, or can be viewed on the firmis website [sic] at http://www.classlawyer.com/pr/appl.pdf .
The complaint charges Apple Computer, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its business and financial condition. Specifically, the complaint alleges that on 7/18- 19/00, Apple introduced its new Power Mac G4 Dual Processor, G4 Cube and iMac personal computers, representing that they were exceptionally powerful, fast and attractive, coming with exceptionally attractive designs and containing new and revolutionary features. At this time, Apple represented that the development of these new products was completed, they were ready for mass production and would be available in quantity very shortly. Apple claimed this would result in Apple achieving strong revenue and earnings per share ("EPS") growth in its 4thQ F00 (to end 9/30/00) and F01. As a result, Appleis stock climbed to a Class Period high of $64-1/8 in early 9/00, when four top Apple officers sold 370,000 shares of their Apple stock for $22 million. Suddenly, just 20-25 trading days later, on 9/28/00, Apple shocked investors by revealing a huge 4thQ F00 revenue and EPS shortfall due to very poor sales to its education (K-12) market and poor consumer acceptance of its new personal computer products (some of which had been late to market, had defects and lacked features which were essential for market success), resulting in the accumulation of excessive inventories of finished goods in Appleis distribution channel and Apple having to cancel component part orders and, thereby, incur financial penalties. As rumors of Appleis troubles circulated prior to and then following Appleis shocking disclosure, Appleis stock collapsed from $61-3/64 on 9/20/00 to $25-3/8 on 9/29/00, continuing to fall to as low as $17 and then to $13-5/8, as investors absorbed the full impact of these shocking revelations. The stock decline wiped out over $10 billion of Appleis market capitalization in just a few days.
If you bought the securities of Apple between July 19, 2000 - September 28, 2000 inclusive, and you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than December 17, 2001. If you are a member of this class, you can join this class action online at http://www.classlawyer.com/sign_up.html . Any member of the purported class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP or other counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP has substantial experience representing investors in securities fraud class action lawsuits such as this. The firm has offices in Florida, Arkansas and California, but represents investors throughout the nation. If you have any questions about how you may be able to recover for your losses, or if you would like to consider serving as one of the lead plaintiffs in this lawsuit, you are encouraged to call or e-mail the Firm or visit the Firmis website [sic] at www.classlawyer.com.
In addition, we have a specific thread on this topic in our forums.