Sealed Air Corporation (SEE) Accused of Misleading Shareholders
According to the class action complaint for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, throughout the relevant period, Sealed Air had issued a series of quarterly earnings releases and SEC filings that touted increases in the Company’s net earnings and certified that all information disclosed had been accurately and properly reported. Despite the Company’s positive representations, Sealed Air failed to disclose that its deduction of $1.49 billion in 2014, which is still being contested by the IRS, had actually been used to artificially inflate the Company’s earnings, cash flows, and operating income. As a result, Sealed Air’s financial statements were materially false and misleading. Consequently, on August 6, 2018, Sealed Air revealed in its quarterly report on Form 10-Q that it had received a subpoena from the SEC requesting documents concerning the Company’s accounting for income taxes and financial reporting and disclosures. On this news, the Company’s share price fell over 5% and continued to decline precipitously in the days following, closing at just over $30 per share by October 2018. By August 2, 2019, the Company received its second SEC subpoena and revealed in its Form 10-Q that the investigation had expanded into a criminal inquiry. The stock has yet to recover.