According to the law firm press release, the Complaint charges EDU and certain of the Company’s executive officers with violations of federal securities laws. EDU provides private educational services, primarily in China. The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period the defendants made false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the EDU’s business, operations and prospects. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that the defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose: (1) that the Company lacked a sufficient basis for the consolidation of Beijing New Oriental Education & Technology (Group) Co., Ltd., a variable interest entity of the Company, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, into EDU’s consolidated financial statements; (2) that, as a result, the Company was improperly consolidating Beijing New Oriental Education & Technology (Group) Co., Ltd., into EDU’s consolidated financial statements; (3) that, contrary to the Company’s representations, EDU’s entire store network is not company-owned because EDU has numerous franchisees; (4) that upfront franchise and other fees had inflated EDU’s cash balances; (5) that the schools that conduct EDU’s operations were ultimately state property; (6) that, as a result of the foregoing, the Company’s financial results were misstated during the Class Period; (7) that the Company lacked internal and financial controls; and (8) that, as a result, the Company’s financial statements and financial results were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On July 17, 2012, EDU disclosed that on July 13, 2012, the Company was informed that the SEC had issued a formal order of investigation captioned, “In the Matter of New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc.” According to EDU, the Company believes that the investigation concerns whether there is a sufficient basis for the consolidation of Beijing New Oriental Education & Technology (Group) Co., Ltd., a variable interest entity of the Company, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, into EDU’s consolidated financial statements. On this news, shares of the Company declined $7.64 per share, or 34.32%, to close on July 17, 2012, at $14.62 per share, on unusually heavy volume.
Thereafter, on July 18, 2012, a report was published by the research firm Muddy Waters Research, entitled, “Initiating Coverage on EDU – Strong Sell.” The firm rated EDU a “Strong Sell because it is probable that EDU will have a significant restatement and that its auditor will resign.” On this news, shares of the Company declined $5.12 per share, or 35.02%, to close on July 18, 2012, at $9.50 per share, on unusually heavy volume.
On October 12, 2012, the Plaintiff entered a Notice into the Court's docket voluntarily dismissing this action with prejudice.
In a Stipulation filed on October 25, 2012, the related cases were consolidated for all purposes under the caption In re New Oriental Education & Technology Group Securities Litigation, No. 12-cv-05724, along with lead plaintiff and lead counsel being appointed.
On December 10, 2012, a Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint was filed by the lead plaintiff against the defendants.
On December 23, 2013, in the Court’s Opinion and Order the defendants’ motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part.
On May 23, 2014, the parties filed a Stipulation of Settlement. Preliminary approval was granted June 10. Final approval was granted November 25.