CHICAGO, May 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, an investor-rights law firm, reminds investors that only 28 days remain before the June 4, 2012, lead plaintiff deadline in a securities class action filed against Groupon (NASDAQ GS: GRPN) on behalf of investors. Any member of the putative class may move the court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member. The deadline to move the court for lead plaintiff is June 4, 2012.
Hagens Berman's lawsuit, filed April 16, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that Groupon, certain of its officers, directors and underwriters of Groupon's Initial Public Offering (IPO) violated the federal securities laws by issuing false and misleading statements to investors. The complaint alleges that these statements artificially inflated the price of Groupon's stock. Hagens Berman's lawsuit alleges that Groupon and its underwriters failed to disclose negative trends in the company's business and weakness in its internal financial controls, causing its stock to trade at artificially high prices during the Class Period.
Investors who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of Groupon stock between November 4, 2011, and March 30, 2012 (the "Class Period"), and who have suffered substantial financial losses are encouraged to contact Hagens Berman Partner Reed Kathrein by calling (510) 725-3000. Investors may also contact the firm via email at GRPN@hbsslaw.com or by visiting www.hbsslaw.com/GRPN.
Groupon went public in November 2011 at an initial price of $20.00 per share, rising as high as $27.78 during the Class Period.On March 30, 2012, Groupon shocked the market with an announcement that it would revise its fourth quarter, 2011 financial results. The revision, the company said, would include a reduction in revenue and an increase in operating expenses. Groupon also noted, "In conjunction with the completion of the audit of Groupon's financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2011 by its independent auditor, Ernst & Young LLP, the Company included a statement of a material weakness in its internal controls over its financial statement close process in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for year ended December 31, 2011." Following the announcement, Groupon's stock declined sharply, losing nearly 17 percent of its value on April 2, 2012, closing at $15.27. Groupon closed at $9.97 on May 4, 2012. Groupon announced last week that it would replace two board members. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will leave the board well before the end of his term and his seat will be filled by Daniel Henry, CFO of American Express. Kevin Efrusy will also leave Groupon's board and will be replaced by former Deloitte Vice-chairman Robert Bass. One commentator stated that it "looks a lot like an attempt to put some grownups in control of things." Despite the news, Groupon stock continues to trade below class period highs. Whistleblowers Persons with knowledge that may help the investigation are encouraged to contact the firm. The SEC recently finalized new rules as part of its implementation of the whistleblower provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Bill. The new rules protect whistleblowers from employer retaliation and allow the SEC to reward those who provide information leading to a successful enforcement with up to 30 percent of the recovery.