PriceSmart, Inc. (PSMT) Accused of Misleading Investors
According to the complaint for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between October 26, 2017 and October 25, 2018, in 2017, PriceSmart, Inc. (PSMT) disclosed how it experienced a lack of availability of U.S. dollars in certain markets, including Trinidad, which impedes its ability to convert local currencies to settle U.S. dollar liabilities and increases its foreign exchange exposure to any devaluation of the local currency relative to the U.S. dollar. In subsequent quarterly and annual filings, PriceSmart reported revenue, net income, and cash and cash equivalents. However, those filings were false, as they failed to disclose that PriceSmart invested Trinidad and Tobago dollars into certificates of deposits and then improperly classified then as cash and cash equivalents. In October 2018, PriceSmart announced the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Jose Luis Laparte, and further disclosed that certain financial statements would have to be restated to correct the balance sheet misclassification of certain assets. On this news, PriceSmart’s stock fell over 15% to close at $69.16 per share on October 26, 2018, and continues to fall.