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Walter, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, mines and exports coking coal for the global steel industry through its consolidated subsidiaries. The Complaint names the Company and certain of its officers as defendants, and alleges that during the Class Period, defendants issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business and prospects. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that defendants misrepresented and/or failed to disclose that Walter was experiencing adverse conditions in Alabama and lower coal transportation rates in Canada that significantly reduced the company’s coal production; that the Company experienced a material adverse effect on its average sales prices and operating results due to its commitment to ship more than 700,000 tons of coal in the second quarter at first quarter sales prices; that the Company was experiencing a significant decline in its margins and profitability; and, therefore, defendants’ positive Class Period statements about the Company’s business and prospects during the Class Period lacked any reasonable basis.
Walter issued a press release announcing its operating results for its 2011 fiscal second quarter ended June 30, 2011, on August 3, 2011. The Company reported net income of $107.4 million, or $1.71 per diluted common share for the quarter, far less than analysts’ estimates. On September 21, 2011, the Company announced that it was attempting to “enhance” its historical statistical disclosure, and revised its 2011 second half sales projections. As a result of that announcement, the price of Walter common stock fell from a close of $75.00 per share on September 20, 2011 to close at $66.25 on September 21, 2011, on extremely heavy trading volume.