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Molycorp's shares plunge on SEC investigation

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Molycorp Inc. plunged to an all-time low Friday after it disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a formal investigation into the accuracy of the rare earth minerals company's public disclosures.

THE SPARK: Molycorp said in a government filing that the SEC began an investigation in August into the accuracy of its public disclosures, among other issues. Molycorp said it is cooperating with the SEC but could not predict the length, scope or result of the investigation.

The Greenwood Village, Colo., company revealed the investigation one day after it reported a third-quarter loss of $18.9 million, or 19 cents per share. That compares with net income of $45.4 million, or 49 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue jumped 49 percent to $205.6 million.

THE BIG PICTURE: The Greenwood Village, Colo., company produces and sells rare earth minerals that are used in a wide variety of applications, including hybrid and electric vehicles, consumer electronics, night vision equipment and global positioning systems.

SHARE ACTION: Shares of Molycorp fell 71 cents, or 8.2 percent, to $7.97 per share in afternoon trading. Earlier in the day, the price dropped to an all-time low of $7.57 per share. The shares had been trading higher for the day on Thursday's earnings report before the disclosure of the investigation.