SAN FRANCISCO, May 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hagens Berman updates investors in the following publicly-traded companies and urges investors who have suffered significant losses to contact the firm. Further details about the cases, including upcoming application deadlines, can be found at the links provided.
eHealth (EHTH) Securities Class Action:
The complaint alleges that Defendants misrepresented and concealed eHealth’s highly aggressive accounting and modeling assumptions, skyrocketing rate of member churn resulting from the company’s pursuit of low quality, loss-making growth, and its reliance on direct response television advertising which attracts an unprofitable high-churn enrollee.
Investors began to learn the truth, according to the complaint, on Apr. 8, 2020, when Muddy Waters Capital published a scathing report about the company, finding that eHealth uses deceptive accounting to mask a significantly unprofitable business. According to Muddy Waters, eHealth makes “overly optimistic” modeling assumptions concerning its health insurance plan life-time values (LTV), obscures customer churn rates, and materially understates costs. As a result, Muddy Waters claims eHealth has grossly overstated its reported revenues and operating profit by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Moreover, Muddy Waters pointed out that while falsely hyping the company as “the Expedia / Zillow of health insurance,” corporate insiders have sold $35 million of their personally held stock at inflated prices, including CEO Scott Flanders, who sold 15% of his stake in January 2020 alone.
On this news, the stock plummeted $12.82 or approximately 12% in a single trading day.
GSX Techedu (GSX) Securities Class Action:
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants misreported GSX’s financials, student enrollment figures, and teacher qualifications.
Investors began to learn the truth on Feb. 25, 2020, when Grizzly Research published a scathing report, accusing GSX of “drastically overstating its profitability in its US public filings, especially for 2018.” Grizzly also claimed that GSX had generated “fake student enrollments to boost student count,” and hired inexperienced teachers right out of college with “fabricated teachers profiles.”
Then, on Apr. 14, 2020, Citron Research published its own cutting report, charging that GSX fabricated up to 70% of its revenues. According to Citron, GSX’s Chinese official government financials and SEC financials are irreconcilable and show a 75% overstatement of net profits for FY 2017 – 2018 alone.
Most recently, on May 7, 2020, Citron published another report addressed to U.S. regulators, citing “definitive evidence” of GSX “committing securities fraud.” Citron avers that GSX’s claims of acquiring customers at half the cost of its peers are false and misleading. According to Citron, GSX uses undisclosed related entities as shell companies to move costs off the Company’s books, allowing GSX to understate reported costs and appear more profitable. These revelations have driven the price of GSX ADSs sharply lower.
iQIYI (IQ) Securities Class Action:
The complaint alleges that Defendants misrepresented and concealed material facts about iQIYI’s business and financial performance. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Defendants inflated iQIYI’s revenue figures, user numbers and operational expenses to cover up other fraud.
Investors began to learn the truth, according to the complaint, on Apr. 7, 2020, when Wolfpack Research published a scathing report, “iQIYI: The Netflix of China? Good Luckin.” According to Wolfpack, the company was committing fraud well before its 2018 IPO and has continued to do so ever since. Wolfpack estimates that (a) iQIYI inflated its 2019 revenue by 27% - 44%, (b) overstates its user numbers by 42% - 60%, and then (c) inflates its expenses, the prices it pays for content, and other assets and acquisitions in order to burn off fake cash to hide the fraud from its auditors and investors.
In addition, according to Wolfpack “[a]rguably one of the most egregious examples of accounting fraud IQ commits is the inflation of barter revenue” whereby barter sublicensing revenues are determined by internal estimates of the value of traded content, allowing management to unilaterally assign inflated values to the transactions.
This news drove the price of iQIYI ADSs sharply lower during intraday trading on Apr. 7, 2020.
VMware, Inc. (VMW) Securities Class Action:
The Complaint alleges that Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s financial performance. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Defendants falsely represented and concealed that: (i) VMware’s reporting with respect to its backlog of unfilled orders was not in compliance with all relevant accounting and disclosure requirements; (ii) the foregoing subjected the Company to a foreseeable risk of heightened regulatory scrutiny and/or investigation; and (iii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times
The Complaint alleges that the truth emerged on Feb. 27, 2020, when after the market closed, the Company announced disappointing Q4 results and disclosed that in Dec. 2019 the SEC requested documents and information related to VMware’s backlog and associated accounting and disclosures. Significantly, on the Q4 2019 earnings call, VMware disclosed that its total backlog was only $18 million, down massively from $449 million in the year-ago quarter. This news sent the price of VMware shares sharply lower the next day.
Whistleblowers: Persons with non-public information regarding EHTH, GSX, IQ, and/or VMW should consider their options to help in the investigation or take advantage of the SEC Whistleblower program. Under the new program, whistleblowers who provide original information may receive rewards totaling up to 30 percent of any successful recovery made by the SEC. For more information, call Reed Kathrein at 844-916-0895 or email EHTH@hbsslaw.com, GSX@hbsslaw.com, IQ@hbsslaw.com, and/or VMW@hbsslaw.com.
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Reed Kathrein, 844-916-0895