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Overstating profits can have devastating consequences.
When the management of Australian gaming machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure made an overly optimistic forecast on the company's profits back in 2001 and 2002, it could not have forseen the angry reaction of shareholders...and the final cost of the blunder.
This week the company settled Australia's biggest shareholder class action for A$144.5 million (US$125.7 million), a court heard.
Some 4 000 shareholders sued, claiming the firm overstated its profits and issued a subsequent profit forecast that
was unattainable, making its share price plunge when the true state of the company was revealed. The decline resulted in some A$2 billion being wiped from the value of Aristocrat shares when the crisis exploded into the headlines in 2003.
This week a Federal Court in Sydney approved the agreement between Aristocrat and Dorajay Pty Ltd, which represented the shareholdings. Dorajay's lawyers said the payout represented an 0.80 cent return for every dollar shareholders lost before interest -- the highest on record in Australia.
The shareholders' legal representative, Bernard Murphy of legal firm Maurice Blackman, pulled no punches when he addressed media reporters outside the court following the agreement, claiming that Aristocrat management had engaged in "a serious episode of misconduct."
"It was involved in businesses in South America that weren't travelling the way they hoped, and instead of revealing the true state of its business to the market it chose to fudge," Murphy said. "When the true state of the company was revealed to the market its share price collapsed and two billion dollars came off its market capitalisation."
Aristocrat's share price dropped from more than A$5 to less than a dollar almost immediately, although they have since recovered.
Arriving at a settlement figure must have been an interesting negotiation. Aristocrat initially claimed that estimated damages suffered by shareholders were around A$10 million to A$20 million dollars, but the final settlement reached was significantly above that at A$136 million dollars in damages and A$8.5 million in costs.
3 Top Bitcoin Poker Sites -
Bitcoin, in particular, is a cryptocurrency that you can use on various online poker sites and it allows a faster and cheaper way to get money into and out of the online poker site.
Kentucky Derby Odds: Justify still Favorite -
With all the races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby complete, Justify is still on top of the odds list at 4/1. But he’s got company: Mendelssohn (9/2), Audible (11/2) and Magnum Moon (8/1) are all very much in contention for the big race on May 5.
888Poker Takes Over the States -
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Top gambling ICOs to watch this year -
The gambling ICOs that are being launched in 2018 are of better quality. Unlike the last half of 2017 when ICOs were numerous, the first few months of 2018 have seen a big drop in number.
MPN Poker Tour Bratislava | Day 2 -
It was a hard fight around the bubble, culminating in the elimination of Georgios Drakakis in 46th place. He received a surprise consolation entry into the next MPNPT stop in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (5-8 July), which softened the blow of missing out on a €900 min-cash.
MPN Poker Tour Bratislava Day 1B -
Dorey Captures Chip Lead After MPNPT Bratislava Day 1b Triples 1a Field Size. The second flight of the €550 MPN Poker Tour Bratislava Main Event is in the bag, and so are the chips of 97 players who will be returning along with the 26 Day 1a survivors to fight to the money and beyond today
MPN Poker Tour Bratislava Day 1A -
The MPN Poker Tour has arrived in Bratislava for the very first time, bringing with it the Tour’s friendly mix of local and globe-trotting poker enthusiasts, pros and qualifiers to the beautiful Slovakian capital.
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