Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired securities (including common stock, debt securities, call and put options) of J.C. Penney Co., Inc. (“J.C. Penney” or the “Company”) (NYSE:JCP) between May 16, 2013 and September 26, 2013, inclusive (the “Class Period”), against the Company and certain of the Company’s officers and directors (“Defendants”), alleging securities fraud pursuant to Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 [15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b) and 78t(a)] and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by the SEC [17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5].
The litigation is styled Murphy v. J.C. Penney Co., Inc., et al., C.A. No. 6:13-cv-0800. A copy of the Complaint filed in this action is available from the Court, or can be viewed on the Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP website at www.whafh.com.
The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, J.C. Penney engaged in a fraudulent scheme to artificially inflate the Company’s stock price by disseminating materially false and misleading statements, and failing to disclose material information regarding the Company’s true financial status and operations, thereby damaging Plaintiff and other similarly situated investors. In particular, throughout the Class Period, the Company falsely stated that it had sufficient operating liquidity and was primed for a “return to profitable growth.” Indeed, as recently as August 20, 2013, the Company’s Executive Vice President and CFO, Kenneth H. Hannah, assured investors that he expected the “total liquidity available to the Company … to be in excess of $1.5 billion at year-end given the improvements … in the [Company’s] business.”
On September 27, 2013, however, the Company shocked the market when it announced the pricing of 84 million shares of its common stock in a secondary offering and indicated that it planned to “use the proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.” On this news, the price of J.C. Penney’s common stock dropped 13% to close at $9.05 per share on unusually heavy volume.
The Complaint further alleges that the true facts, which were known by Defendants, but concealed from the investing public during the Class Period, were that the Company did not have sufficient operating liquidity and would require a substantial cash infusion in order to remain a going-concern through year-end. Thus, despite the Company’s looming liquidity crisis, Defendants affirmatively misled investors by representing that the Company was financially stable and well on its way to achieving a complete turnaround in results.
In ignorance of the false and misleading nature of the statements described in the Complaint, and the deceptive and manipulative devices and contrivances employed by said Defendants, Plaintiff and the other members of the Class relied, to their detriment, on the integrity of the market price of J.C. Penney securities. Had Plaintiff and the other members of the Class known the truth, they would not have purchased said securities, or would not have purchased them at the inflated prices that were paid.
If you purchased JCP securities during the Class Period, you may request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff by December 2, 2013. A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as “lead plaintiff.” Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain Wolf Haldenstein, or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.
Wolf Haldenstein has extensive experience in the prosecution of securities class actions and derivative litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts across the country. The firm has approximately 70 attorneys in various practice areas; and offices in Chicago, New York City, and San Diego. The reputation and expertise of this firm in shareholder and other class litigation has been repeatedly recognized by the courts, which have appointed it to major positions in complex securities multi-district and consolidated litigation.
If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions, please contact Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP at 270 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016, by telephone at (800) 575-0735 (Gregory M. Nespole, Esq.), via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.whafh.com. All e-mail correspondence should make reference to “J.C. Penney”.