January 24, 2014
Bernstein Liebhard LLP today announced that a class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers (the “Class”) of securities of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (“Barnes & Noble” or the “Company”) (NYSE: BKS) during the period of July 27, 2012 and December 5, 2013 (the “Class Period”).
The complaint charges Barnes & Noble and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Barnes & Noble is a New York City-based retailer of books and digital media and digital media devices, including its Nook e-book reader and accessories launched in 2009.
The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Barnes & Noble issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s financial performance and future business prospects. Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants misrepresented or failed to disclose that: (i) Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-book reader sales had dramatically declined; (ii) the Company would shutter its Nook manufacturing operations altogether; (iii) the carrying value of the Nook assets were impaired by millions of dollars; (iv) the carrying value of the Nook inventory was overstated by $133 million; (v) the Company was expecting fiscal 2014 retail losses in the high single digits; (vi) Barnes & Noble had over-accrued certain accounts receivables; (vii) Barnes & Noble was unable to provide timely audited financial results for fiscal 2013; and (viii) the Company might be forced to restate its previously reported financial results.
The complaint further alleges that following the July 8, 2013 resignation of Barnes & Noble’s Chief Executive Officer and a July 29, 2013 earnings restatement, on August 20, 2013, Barnes & Noble disclosed much worse Company-wide financial results for its first quarter 2014 than the market had been led to expect, including lower sales and losses that more than doubled from the first quarter of 2013. Barnes & Noble also disclosed that the Company’s Chairman had placed on hold his previous bid to take the Company’s bookstore business private. On this news, the Company’s stock price fell more than $2 per share, or approximately 12%.
Then, on December 5, 2013, Barnes & Noble disclosed in a filing with the SEC that it had been notified on October 16, 2013 that the SEC had commenced an investigation into the Company’s past accounting, including its decision to restate earnings for fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012. Barnes & Noble also disclosed that the SEC was looking into a former employee’s allegations that Barnes & Noble had improperly allocated certain “information technology expenses” between its Nook and consumer bookstore groups in its financial reporting. The filing also disclosed that after a review of Barnes & Noble’s deferred tax assets and liabilities, the Company had “concluded” that a deferred tax liability should be reversed. On this news, the price of the Company’s stock declined again, falling almost $2 per share, or 12%, when trading resumed on December 6, 2013.
Plaintiffs seek to recover damages on behalf of all Class members who invested in Barnes & Noble securities during the Class Period. If you invested in Barnes & Noble securities described above, and either lost money on the transaction or still hold the security, you may wish to join in this action to serve as lead plaintiff. In order to do so, you must meet certain requirements set forth in the applicable law and file appropriate papers no later than March 10, 2014.
A “lead plaintiff” is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain Bernstein Liebhard LLP, or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.
If you are interested in discussing your rights as a Barnes & Noble shareholder and/or have information relating to the matter, please contact Joseph R. Seidman, Jr. at (877) 779-1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP has pursued hundreds of securities, consumer and shareholder rights cases and recovered over $3 billion for its clients. It has been named to The National Law Journal’s “Plaintiffs’ Hot List” in each of the last eleven years.
You can obtain a copy of the complaint from the clerk of the court for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.