According to the law firm press release, the complaint charges Big Lots and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Big Lots, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, operates as a broadline closeout retailer in the United States and Canada.
The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business and financial results. As a result of defendants’ false statements, Big Lots stock traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, reaching a high of $46.81 per share on March 27, 2012.
On April 23, 2012, after the market closed, Big Lots issued a press release announcing updates to its first quarter 2012 retail sales guidance. The Company forecast a decline in first-quarter same-store sales, slightly negative in comparison to its prior guidance, which estimated a comparable stores sales increase of 2% to 4%. In particular, the Company’s consumables business declined significantly. On this news, Big Lots stock collapsed $11 per share to close at $34.71 per share on April 24, 2012, a one-day decline of 24% on volume of 13.2 million shares.
According to the complaint, the true facts, which were known by defendants but concealed from the investing public during the Class Period, were as follows: (a) Big Lots’ consumables line (consisting of household, beauty and health items), which represented a third of Big Lots’ business, was deteriorating; and (b) the Company’s electronic products business was being adversely affected as shoppers were increasingly looking at online deals for these big ticket products, which adversely affected the Company’s margins and prospects.
On March 05, 2013, the Court Granted the Motion for Appointment of Lead Plaintiff and Approval of Lead Plaintiffs’ Selection of Lead Counsel.
On April 4, 2013, the Plaintiffs filed an amended Complaint. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the amended Complaint on May 6. On January 21, 2016, the Court issued an Order granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
On March 17, 2017, the Court issued an Order granting Plaintiffs' Motion to Certify Class.
On August 23, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted Defendants' petition to appeal the district court’s interlocutory order granting plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class action. On April 12, 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an Order remanding this case to the District Court for the limited purpose of conducting a fairness hearing regarding the proposed settlement. On May 16, the Parties entered into a Stipulation of Settlement. The Court issued an Order preliminarily approving the Settlement on June 25.