SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 07, 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 can be found at the links provided.
Fulton Financial Corporation (FULT) Investigation:
The investigation centers on the propriety of Fulton’s financial reporting, including accounting for its mortgage servicing rights (“MSR”) assets and its MSR valuation allowance.
Each quarter in 2016 through mid-2017, Fulton’s reported Earnings Per Share met or exceeded analyst consensus expectations. The Company claimed the success was “a clear reflection of our efforts to focus on organic growth and take advantage of the local market disruption.”
But on Mar. 1, 2019, the Company revealed that the SEC had launched an investigation regarding certain accounting determinations that could have impacted the Corporation’s reported earnings per share.
Then, on Sep. 28, 2020, the SEC filed a settled action against Fulton, finding that the Company inaccurately presented its financial performance in 2016 and early 2017. Specifically, during two quarters in which Fulton was on track to meet or beat analyst consensus EPS estimates, the SEC found that Fulton’s public filings included a valuation allowance for its mortgage servicing rights that was at odds with the valuation methodology described in the same filings. Then, in mid-2017, Fulton belatedly reversed the valuation allowance, increasing its EPS by a penny in a quarter when it otherwise would have fallen short of consensus estimates. As a result of this fraudulent earnings smoothing, the SEC found that Fulton created the misleading appearance of consistent earnings across multiple reporting periods.
“We’re focused on investors’ losses and determining whether Fulton engaged in illegal earnings smoothing,” said Reed Kathrein, the Hagens Berman partner leading the investigation.
If you are a Fulton investor and have significant losses, or have knowledge that may assist the firm’s investigation, click here to discuss your legal rights with Hagens Berman.
Interface, Inc. (TILE) Investigation:
The investigation centers on the propriety of Interface’s financial reporting, including its accounting for certain expenses such as management bonus accruals, independent consultant fees and stock based compensation.
From the 2Q 2015 – 2Q 2016, Interface pleased investors when it reported income and earnings per share growth, consistently meeting or exceeding analysts’ estimates. The Company attributed the increased margins to its “lean manufacturing initiatives, higher manufacturing volume, improved selling prices, and lower raw material costs and usage.”
But on Apr. 24, 2019, Interface announced that that the SEC had served three separate subpoenas on the Company, probing its earnings per share calculations from 2014 – 2017. The Company also announced that it had placed its Chief Accounting Officer Gregory Bauer on administrative leave when it learned Bauer added notes to materials produced to the SEC.
Then, on Sept. 28, 2020, the SEC filed a settled action against the Company for violations that resulted in the improper reporting of quarterly EPS. Specifically, the SEC order found that during Q2 2015 through Q2 2016 Interface made unsupported manual accounting adjustments to certain expenses to meet EPS estimates. The SEC also found that Bauer, and former Chief Financial Officer (Patrick Lynch) directed the unsupported entries.
These disclosures drove the price of Interface shares down sharply.
“We’re focused on investors’ losses and determining whether Interface engaged in illegal earnings smoothing,” said Reed Kathrein, the Hagens Berman partner leading the investigation.
If you are an Interface investor and have significant losses, or have knowledge that may assist the firm’s investigation, click here to discuss your legal rights with Hagens Berman.
Whistleblowers: Persons with non-public information regarding Fulton and/or Interface 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 FULT@hbsslaw.com and/or TILE@hbsslaw.com.
About Hagens Berman
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Reed Kathrein, 844-916-0895