Final approval and dismissal of the case was granted on January 23, 2009.
Shortly after initial motions for dismissal were filed, parties announced a settlement agreement resolving the case in full. The Stipulation of Settlement and motions for preliminary approval of the $4 million settlement were filed July 29, 2008. The judge granted preliminary approval of the settlement on October 20, 2008. The final settlement fairness hearing is scheduled for January 23, 2009.
On October 18, 2007 the judge ordered related cases consolidated, appointed an institutional investor as lead plaintiff and approved their choice of lead and liaison counsel. An Amended Complaint was then filed on January 22, 2008.
According to a press release dated July 24, 2007, the complaint charges Greenfield Online and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Exchange Act. The Company provides Internet survey and comparison shopping solutions primarily in North America and Europe. According to the complaint, Defendants issued a series of materially false and misleading statements concerning Greenfield Online, its business, operations and prospects. Unbeknownst to shareholders, the true facts were (i) that the Company was experiencing several adverse trends in its core business which were negatively impacting its revenues and earnings and causing the Company to miss its internal performance expectations; (ii) that the Ciao AG acquisition was not a success as Ciao AG was not performing according to expectations; and (iii) that the Company was materially overvaluing Ciao AG and should have, but did not, write down the value of Ciao AG on its financial statements by tens of millions of dollars. As a result, the Company lacked a reasonable basis for their positive statements concerning the Company's earnings, prospects and financial results.
The complaint further alleges that on August 9, 2005, after the markets closed, Greenfield Online announced that it was lowering its outlook on fiscal 2005. Upon this news, on the next trading day, shares of the Company's stock fell $3.31 per share, or 27%, to close at $8.94 per share, on heavy trading volume. Then, on September 29, 2005, the Company, for the second time, lowered its outlook for the 2005 third quarter and fiscal year. Moreover, the Company announced that defendant Dean A. Wiltse, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, had left the Company. In reaction to this announcement, shares of the Company's stock fell $1.53 per share, or over 20%, to close at $5.44 per share, on heavy trading volume.