According to the law firm press release, Rayonier Inc. engages in the sale and development of real estate and timberland management, as well as in the production and sale of cellulose fibers in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. The Company operates in four segments: Timber, Real Estate, Performance Fibers, and Wood Products.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company's business, operations and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Rayonier's financial statements overstated its estimated merchantable timber inventory volumes by including timber in specially designated parcels located in restricted, environmentally sensitive or economically inaccessible areas; (2) the inclusion of this timber was incorrect, inconsistent with Rayonier's historical definition of merchantable timber inventory, and a significant change from prior years; (3) Rayonier's financial statements understated depletion expense in cost of goods sold by approximately $2.0 million in each of the quarterly periods ended March 31, 2014, and June 30, 2014, which resulted in a corresponding overstatement of income from continuing operations of $1.9 million and $2.0 million, respectively, in those periods; (4) there was a material weakness in Rayonier's internal controls related to financial reporting as of December 31, 2013, March 31, 2014, and June 30, 2014; and (5) as a result of the foregoing, Rayonier's public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On November 10, 2014, before the market opened for trading, the Company issued a press release and filed a Form 8-K with the SEC, reporting third quarter results and announcing a restatement of prior issued financial statements, which contained material errors.
On this news, shares of Rayonier fell $5.08 or almost 15%, on unusually heavy volume, to close at $28.82 on November 10, 2014.
On February 25, 2015, the Court issued an Order appointing lead Plaintiff and approving lead Counsel. Lead Plaintiffs filed a consolidated Complaint on April 7.
On August 26, 2015, the Court issued an Order granting defendants' motions to dismiss. Plaintiffs were given leave to file an amended Complaint, which they did on September 25.
On April 12, 2017, the parties entered into a Stipulation of Settlement. On October 5, the Court granted final approval of the settlement and entered Final Judgment. On November 26, 2018, the Court issued an Order approving the distribution plan of the Settlement. On December 21, 2021, the Court authorized the cy pres distribution of the remaining net settlement fund.