NEW YORK, March 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm, reminds investors that class actions have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of Opera Limited (NASDAQ: OPRA), Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND), Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE: WBK), and Sasol Limited (NYSE: SSL). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.
Opera Limited (NASDAQ: OPRA)
Class Period: Securities purchased pursuant and/or traceable to the Company’s initial public offering commenced on or about July 27, 2018 (the “IPO” or “Offering”) and/or between July 27, 2018 and January 15, 2020 (the “Class Period”).
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 23, 2020
On January 16, 2020, Hindenburg Research (“Hindenburg”) published a report stating that Hindenburg had “a 12-month price target of $2.60 on Opera, representing a 70% downside.” Among other issues, Hindenburg reported that Opera’s “browser market share is declining rapidly, down ~30% since its IPO”; that Opera was involved in “predatory short-term loans in Africa and India, deploying deceptive ‘bait and switch’ tactics to lure in borrowers and charging egregious interest rates ranging from ~365-876%”; that Opera’s lending business applications, many of which are offered on Google’s Play Store—particularly, OKash, OPesa, CashBean, and Opay—were “in black and white violation of numerous Google rules” aimed at “curtail[ing] predatory lending”; and that consequently, Opera’s entire lending business was “at risk of disappearing or being severely curtailed when Google notices” Opera’s alleged violation of its rules.
Following this news, Opera’s ADS price fell $1.69 per share, or 18.74%, to close at $7.33 per share on January 16, 2020.
The Complaint, filed on January 24, 2020, alleges that the offering documents were negligently prepared and, as a result, contained untrue statements of material fact or omitted to state other facts necessary to make the statements made not misleading and were not prepared in accordance with the rules and regulations governing their preparation. Additionally, throughout the Class Period, defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, the offering documents and defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Opera’s sustainable growth and market opportunity for its browser applications was significantly overstated; (ii) defendants’ funded, owned, or otherwise controlled loan services applications and/or businesses relied on predatory lending practices; (iii) all the foregoing, once revealed, were reasonably likely to have a material negative impact on Opera’s financial prospects, especially with respect to its lending applications’ continued availability on the Google Play Store; and (iv) as a result, the offering documents and defendants’ statements were materially false and/or misleading and failed to state information required to be stated therein.
For more information on the Opera class action go to: https://bespc.com/opra
Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND)
Class Period: May 2, 2019 to January 27, 2020
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 30, 2020
On January 27, 2020, Don Lee Farms issued a press release entitled “Judge Rules Don Lee Farms Likely to Obtain a Judgment. Beyond Meat’s CFO and Others Named Individually for Fraud.” The press release stated, in part, that “[a] judge has ruled Don Lee Farms proved the probable validity of its claim that Beyond Meat breached its manufacturing agreement with Don Lee Farms” and that “[i]n a separate motion before a different Judge, the Court granted Don Lee Farms’ request to name Beyond Meat Chief Financial Officer Mark Nelson, Senior Quality Assurance Manager Jessica Quetsch and Director of Operations Anthony Miller in its fraud claims which allege they intentionally doctored and omitted material information from a food safety consultant’s report, and then delivered that doctored report to Don Lee Farms and affirmatively represented that it was the complete opinion of the consultant.”
On this news, Beyond Meat’s stock price fell $4.63, or 3.71%, to close at $120.12 on January 28, 2020.
The Complaint, filed on January 30, 2020, alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Beyond Meat’s termination of its supply agreement with Don Lee constituted a breach of that agreement, thus exposing the Company to foreseeable legal liability and reputational harm; (ii) Beyond Meat and certain of its employees had doctored and omitted material information from a food safety consultants report, which the Company represented as accurate to Don Lee; and (iii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
For more information on the Beyond Meat class action go to: https://bespc.com/bynd
Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE: WBK)
Class Period: November 11, 2015 to November 19, 2019
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 30, 2020
On November 20, 2019, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (“AUSTRAC”) charged Westpac with over 23 million violations of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act (the “AML-CTF Act”). Further, Westpac’s senior management failed to distinguish money laundering or risky payments to and from Southeast Asia indicative of child sexual exploitation.
On this news, Westpac’s stock price fell $0.80 per share, or over 4%, to close at $17.15 per share on November 20, 2019.
The Complaint, filed on January 30, 2020, alleges that defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) contrary to Australian law, the Company failed to report over 19.5 million international funds transfer instructions to AUSTRAC, Australia's anti money-laundering and terrorism financing regulator; (2) the Company did not appropriately monitor and assess the ongoing money laundering and terrorism financing risks associated with movement of money into and out of Australia; (3) the Company did not pass on requisite information about the source of funds to other banks in the transfer chain; (4) despite being aware of the heightened risks, the Company did not carry out appropriate due diligence on transactions in South East Asia and the Philippines that had known financial indicators relating to child exploitation risks; (5) the Company's AML/CTF Program was inadequate to identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks; and (6) as a result, defendants' statements about its business, operations, and prospects, were materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.
For more information on the Westpac class action go to: https://bespc.com/wbk
Sasol Limited (NYSE: SSL)
Class Period: March 10, 2015 to January 13, 2020
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: April 6, 2020
On October 27, 2014, Sasol announced the construction of a of an $8.1 billion ethane cracker and derivatives complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana, dubbed the Lake Charles Chemicals Project (“LCCP”). According to the Company, the LCCP includes seven manufacturing units, some of which are in continued development, including the low-density polyethylene (“LDPE”) facility and Ziegler alcohol, ethoxylates and Guerbet alcohol facilities, among others.
On June 6, 2016, Sasol reported “that the expected total capital expenditure for the [LCCP] could increase up to US$11 billion, including site infrastructure and utility improvements”; a slower rate of capital “resulted in an extended project schedule and contributed to further project cost increases”; “[t]he expected returns for the project have reduced due to changes in long-term price assumptions and the higher capital estimates”; and “[t]he increase in the estimated LCCP capital cost and extended schedule will reduce the expected project returns by approximately the same amount as the Company’s lower long-term price assumptions.”
Following these disclosures, Sasol’s share price fell $3.53 per share, or 10.99%, to close at $28.60 per share on June 6, 2016.
On May 22, 2019, Sasol disclosed that “the cost estimate for the LCCP has been revised to a range of $12,6 to $12,9 billion which includes a contingency of $300 million.” Sasol cited a $530 million change in the project’s cost forecast because of a “[c]orrection for duplication of investment allowances of approximately $230 million”; a “[c]orrection for certain contracts and variation orders managed by Sasol, outside the primary engineering, procurement and construction contract, of approximately $180 million”; and forecast improvements that were “not expected to be realised and adjustments for potential insurance claims and procurement back-charges of approximately $120 million.”
Following these disclosures, Sasol’s share price fell $4.50 per share, or 14.93%, to close at $25.64 per share on May 22, 2019.
Later, on August 16, 2019, Sasol issued a press release disclosing that it was delaying the announcement of its 2019 financial results because of “possible LCCP control weaknesses.”
On this news, Sasol’s share price fell $0.74 per share, or 4.02%, to close at $17.67 per share on August 16, 2019.
Then, on October 28, 2019, Sasol disclosed that its review of the LCCP control weaknesses had brought to light “errors, omissions, and inaccuracies in the [LCCP] cost estimate,” and a number of unethical and improper reporting activities that took place at the highest level of management. Sasol also announced the resignation of, inter alia, its Joint Presidents and Chief Executive Officers (“CEOs”), effective November 1, 2019, and Senior Vice Presidents and others previously in charge of the LCCP.
Finally, on January 14, 2020, Sasol issued a press release confirming that on January 13, 2020, the Company “experienced an explosion and fire at its LCCP low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit.” Sasol stated that “[t]he unit was in the final stages of commissioning and startup when the incident occurred” and “has been shut down and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident, the extent of the damage and resulting impact on the LDPE unit’s [beneficial operation] schedule.”
Following these disclosures, Sasol’s share price fell $1.70 per share, or 7.84%, over the following two trading days, to close at $19.99 per share on January 15, 2020.
The Complaint, filed on February 5, 2020, alleges that throughout the Class Period defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Sasol had conducted insufficient due diligence into, and failed to account for multiple issues with, the LCCP, as well as the true cost of the project; (ii) construction and operation of the LCCP was consequently plagued by control weaknesses, delays, rising costs, and technical issues; (iii) these issues were exacerbated by Sasol’s top-level management, who engaged in improper and unethical behavior with respect to financial reporting for the LCCP and the project’s oversight; (iv) all the foregoing was reasonably likely to render the LCCP significantly more expensive than disclosed and negatively impact the Company’s financial results; and (v) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
For more information on the Sasol class action go to: https://bespc.com/ssl
About Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.:
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm with offices in New York and California. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in commercial, securities, derivative, and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the country. For more information about the firm, please visit www.bespc.com. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.