U.S. markets closed

Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. Reminds Investors That Class Action Lawsuits Have Been Filed Against MGP Ingredients, Aaron’s, and Canaan and Encourages Investors to Contact the Firm

NEW YORK, March 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm, reminds investors that class actions have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of MGP Ingredients, Inc. (MGPI), Aaron’s, Inc, (AAN), and Canaan, Inc. (CAN). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.

MGP Ingredients, Inc. (MGPI)

Class Period: February 17, 2019 to February 25, 2020

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: April 28, 2020

Beginning in 2015, instead of selling its whiskey as an unaged new distillate, which was then barreled and aged by its customers, MGP started storing significant amounts of barreled distillate that it could later sell as aged whiskey. After four years of aging, the Company was expected to commence selling this aged whiskey in 2019 at three times the price of unaged whiskey.

On May 1, 2019, defendants announced MGP’s first quarter 2019 financial results, including “lighter” than consensus results due to “lower volumes” in sales of aged whiskey, but claimed that MGP was experiencing favorable demand and pricing trends and “confidently confirm[ed]” the Company’s guidance for the remainder of the year. On this news, the price of MGP stock declined nearly 23%.

On July 31, 2019, defendants announced weak second quarter 2019 financial results, again due to poor sales of aged whiskey. In addition, defendants affirmed MGP’s net sales growth guidance, but revised downward their guidance for operating income growth. On this news, the price of MGP stock declined more than 25%.

On October 31, 2019, defendants announced disappointing third quarter 2019 financial results, again due to poor whiskey sales, and blamed the failure to transact aged whiskey sales on customer delays and “funding issues,” but reiterated that MGP remained on track to achieve its revised full-year 2019 guidance.

Following these disclosures, the Company’s stock price declined nearly 12%.

On January 17, 2020, the Company announced its preliminary full-year 2019 financial results, which significantly missed the guidance defendants had reiterated with just two months to go in the year. Following these disclosures, the price of MGP stock declined more than 27% to close at $38.18 per share on January 17, 2020.

Then, on February 26, 2020, the Company announced its finalized full-year 2019 financial results, confirming its previously announced preliminary results, including that it had fallen “significantly short of . . . guidance” due to its failure to sell aged whiskey during the fourth quarter of 2019. The Company also revealed that aged whiskey sales had declined year over year and that it had failed to secure the contracts it had previously highlighted to investors.

On this news, the price of MGP stock declined 11% to close at $28.42 per share on February 26, 2020, which represented a 67% price decline from the stock’s Class Period high of $88.06 per share.

The complaint, filed on February 28, 2020, alleges that during the Class Period defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information concerning MGP’s business and financial condition. Specifically, defendants failed to disclose that MGP had not completed any significant sales of its aged whiskey inventory, the Company had been unable to sell its aged whiskey at the price premium represented to investors, a glut of aged whiskey inventory and shifts in consumer behavior had lowered the value of the Company’s aged whiskey inventory and materially impaired its ability to negotiate significant sales on favorable contract terms, and as a consequence, defendants’ full-year 2019 financial guidance lacked a reasonable basis and was materially misleading. As a result of this information being withheld from the market, the price of MGP common stock was artificially inflated to a high of more than $88 per share during the Class Period.

For more information on the MGP Ingredients class action go to: https://bespc.com/MGPI

Aaron’s, Inc. (AAN)

Class Period: March 2, 2018 and February 19, 2020

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: April 28, 2020

On July 26, 2018, Aaron’s filed a Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), reporting the Company’s financial and operating results for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2018. That Quarterly Report disclosed that, in July 2018, Aaron’s received civil investigative demands (“CIDs”) from the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) requesting the production of documents and answers to written questions to determine whether disclosures related to financial products offered by the Company through its AB and Progressive segments were in violation of the FTC Act.

On this news, Aaron’s stock price fell $5.38 per share, or 11.01%, to close at $43.47 per share on July 27, 2018.

On April 25, 2019, Aaron’s filed another Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q with the SEC, reporting the Company’s financial and operating results for the fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2019. That Quarterly Report disclosed that, in April 2019, Aaron’s AB segment “received an unrelated CID from the FTC focused on certain transactions involving the purchase and sale of customer lease agreements, and whether such transactions violated the FTC Act.”

Then, on February 20, 2020, Aaron’s issued a press release announcing the Company’s financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2019. Among other results, Aaron’s reported that the Company’s Progressive segment had reached an agreement in principle with FTC staff regarding the CID from the FTC that Progressive received in July 2018. Aaron’s advised investors that “[u]nder the proposed agreement, which requires final approval by FTC Commissioners and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Progressive will make a payment of $175 million and enhance certain compliance-related activities, including monitoring, disclosure and reporting requirements.”

On this news, Aaron’s stock price fell $10.70 per share, or 19.06%, to close at $45.45 per share on February 20, 2020.

The Complaint, filed on February 28, 2020, alleges that throughout the Class Period defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose: (i) that Aaron’s had inadequate disclosure controls, procedures, and compliance measures; (ii) that, consequently, the operations of Aaron’s Progressive and AB segments were in violation of the FTC Act and/or relevant FTC regulations; (iii) that, consequently, Aaron’s earnings from those segments were partially derived from unlawful business practices and were thus unsustainable; (iv) the full extent of Aaron’s liability regarding the FTC’s investigation into its Progressive and AB segments, Aaron’s noncompliance with the FTC Act, and the likely negative consequences of all the foregoing on the Company’s financial results; and (v) that, as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

For more information on the Aaron’s class action go to: https://bespc.com/AAN-2

Canaan, Inc. (CAN)

Class Period: Securities purchased pursuant or traceable to the Company’s initial public offering, which commenced on or about November 20, 2019 (the “IPO” or “Offering”).

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: May 4, 2020

Canaan, a company specializing in Blockchain servers and ASIC microprocessor solutions for use in bitcoin mining, completed its initial public offering in November of 2019. Then, on February 20, 2020, an investment analyst operating under the pseudonym Marcus Aurelius published a short report entitled “Canaan Fodder” claiming, among other things, that Canaan was engaged in several undisclosed related-party transactions that lacked economic substance.

For example, the report alleges that just one month before Canaan’s IPO, a tiny Hong Kong company named Grandshores announced that it had agreed to purchase up to $150 Million worth of the company’s equipment in 2020, even though Grandshores’ entire market cap is only $50 million and it reports having only $16 million in cash on hand. Purportedly, the Chairman of Grandshores owns 9.7% of Canaan’s outstanding shares through entities he controls -- yet this relationship is not mentioned anywhere in Canaan’s SEC filings.

The complaint, filed on March 4, 2020, alleges that the Registration Statement for the IPO contained false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) the purported “strategic cooperation” was actually a transaction with a related party; (2) the company’s financial health was worse than what was actually reported; (3) the company had recently removed numerous distributors from its website just prior to the IPO, many of which were small or suspicious businesses; and (4) several of the company’s largest Chinese clients in prior years were clients who were not in the Bitcoin mining industry and, thus, would likely not be repeat customers. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

For more information on the Canaan class action go to: https://bespc.com/can

About Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.:
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm with offices in New York and California. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in commercial, securities, derivative, and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the country. For more information about the firm, please visit www.bespc.com. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. 

Contact Information:
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.
Melissa Fortunato, Esq.
Marion Passmore, Esq.
(212) 355-4648
investigations@bespc.com
www.bespc.com