NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Diamond Foods (DMND) were walloped Wednesday as questions about the death of a former director stoked investor fears that a probe of the company's accounting could lead to the restatement of past financial results.
The San Francisco-based snack products company, whose brands include Pop Secret popcorn and Emerald nuts, acknowledged that Joseph Silveira passed away late last week and press reports late Tuesday indicated Silveira may have committed suicide.
The stock closed down 21% at $27.80 on volume of 9.7 million, nearly 10 times the issue's trailing three-month daily average of around 1 million.
Jefferies, which has a buy rating and 12-month price target of $46 on Diamond shares, took a measured view of the situation, acknowledging the questions about Silveira's passing add to the uncertainty engulfing the stock but cautioning against making any snap assumptions."While this might be seen as another indication of accounting problems we do not want to jump to conclusions," the firm said. "Our worst-case DCF
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