According to the law firm press release, CaesarStone manufactures and sells engineered quartz surfaces under the CaesarStone brand in the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, Europe, and internationally. The Company’s products are engineered quartz slabs, which are used as kitchen countertops in the renovation and remodeling, and residential construction end markets, as well as other applications, including vanity tops, wall panels, back splashes, floor tiles, stair, and other interior surfaces that are used in various residential and non-residential applications. It sells its products directly to fabricators, sub-distributors, and resellers; and indirectly through a network of independent distributors.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) that the cost of quartz rose substantially by approximately 20% in 2014 while the Company claimed in SEC filings the impact of the price increase was just 4%; (ii) independent lab tests demonstrate that CaesarStone’s samples contained less quartz than advertised; (iii) CaesarStone’s reported consolidated margins, gross margins, and EBITDA were overstated; (iv) the extent of and risk posed by a growing number of lawsuits for approximately 60 silicosis-related injuries or deaths suffered by workers and fabricators of its product in Israel was understated; (v) the impact recent OSHA warnings regarding silicosis would have on the opening of a new U.S. facility and associated costs; (vi) recent inspection reports revealed audit deficiencies related to revenue and inventory controls; and (vii) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ statements about CaesarStone’s business, operations, and prospects were false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.
On August 19, 2015, analyst firm Spruce Point Capital Management published a report on CaesarStone describing the aforementioned false and misleading statements and failures of disclosure. On this adverse news, CaesarStone ADRs fell $3.68, or 7.6%, to close at $44.61 on August 19, 2015.
The parties entered into a Stipulation of Settlement on April 13, 2017. Preliminary approval was granted May 5. Final approval was granted August 14.