Shares of Lumber Liquidators surged by as much as 4.47% to $29.20 per share in premarket trading this morning after the company released its agenda for Thursday’s planned investor meeting. Last week the flooring retailer scheduled an investor call for this Thursday, saying it plans to provide an update on its products’ safety.
Lumber Liquidators in free fall
Lumber Liquidators shares continued to tumble during regular trading hours on Monday, declining 16.12% to close at $27.95 per share. The latest sell-off was triggered by an update from 60 Minutes, which reported that regulators had asked for copies of the results from the tests it had conducted on the company’s products.
Things appear to be looking up for the company, at least for now anyway. Wall Street is reacting positively to the release of the company’s agenda this morning. In addition to updating investors on the safety of their flooring, Lumber Liquidators management said they will lay out a plan on how to work with customers.
Despite this morning’s rally shares of Lumber Liquidators are still down by more than 40% for the month.
Is Lumber Liquidators under investigation?
On Sunday, Anderson Cooper of 60 Minutes reported that the Consumer Product Safety Commission had contacted them and asked to see the results from the tests conducted on Lumber Liquidators’ flooring. The agency did not say whether it is investigating but did confirm that it requested to see the test results.
The tests allegedly indicated that the flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators contained levels of formaldehyde that are higher than the levels allowed under California’s stringent health and safety regulations.
Lumber Liquidators in legal hot water
Since 60 Minutes aired the first report about Lumber Liquidators a little over a week ago, the company’s stock has plunged. The flooring seller now faces multiple lawsuits in more than one state. At least two law firms have announced that they are filing class action lawsuits against the flooring company within the last week.
In addition to the lawsuits filed over the formaldehyde content of the company’s products, an investor has also sued, alleging insider trading. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Lumber Liquidators shareholder James Costello accuses Founder and Chairman Thomas Sullivan and CEO Robert Lynch of trading based on nonpublic information about the quality of the company’s flooring to turn a profit.
The lawsuit alleges that the two men traded a combined $19 million worth of Lumber Liquidators shares in an “unusual and well-timed” way. The case further alleges that the two men wanted “to take advantage of the inflated stock price before the true facts regarding the company’s operations were revealed to the market,” said Costello.
Lynch and Sullivan reportedly unloaded some shares just months before federal investigators raided the company’s offices searching for evidence that the company was buying Russian lumber through Chinese sources.
Short-sellers win big on Lumber Liquidators
Since the first scathing report from 60 Minutes aired, Lumber Liquidators has alleged that the legal attacks are the result of pressure from short-sellers like Whitney Tilson, who has greatly benefited from the company’s share price decline. 60 Minutes interviewed Tilson for its first report, and Tilson gave the credit to 25-year-old Xuhua Zhao, who originally raised the allegations about the formaldehyde content.
Lumber Liquidators said it will defend itself against all of the lawsuits it faces and alleges that the testing method used by 60 Minutes on its flooring was invalid.