NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (“Robbins Geller”) (http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/commonwealth/) today announced that a class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of purchasers of CommonWealth REIT (“CommonWealth”) (NYSE:CWH) common shares during the period between January 10, 2012 and August 8, 2012 (the “Class Period”).
If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than 60 days from today. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff’s counsel, Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a member of this class, you can view a copy of the complaint as filed or join this class action online at http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/commonwealth/. Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.
The complaint charges CommonWealth and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. CommonWealth is a real estate investment trust, or REIT, which primarily owns office and industrial properties located throughout the United States.
The complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, defendants issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s financial performance and future prospects. Specifically, defendants misrepresented and/or failed to disclose the following adverse facts: (a) that the Company was experiencing softness in the leasing market as the number of leased office spaces, especially in the Company’s suburban office segment, was below internal expectations; (b) that existing tenants were demanding and receiving significant concessions, which was further eroding the Company’s rental income; and (c) as a result of the foregoing, defendants lacked a reasonable basis for their positive statements about the Company’s leverage ratio, occupancy rate and dividend payout.
On August 8, 2012, the Company announced its financial results for the second quarter of 2012, the period ended June 30, 2012. Following the earnings press release, CommonWealth held a conference call with analysts and investors. During the conference call, defendant Adam D. Portnoy, the Company’s President and Managing Trustee, stated that CommonWealth would likely reduce its dividend because, among other things, the Company’s cash available for distribution payout ratio had increased to 108%. Moreover, the Company revealed that its occupancy rate fell to 84.5%, as of June 30, compared to 84.8% on March 31. In reaction to these announcements, the price of CommonWealth common shares fell $1.57 per share, or 9%, to close at $16.48 per share. The price of the Company’s shares continued to decline over the next two trading days to $15.67 per share as the market digested this news.
On October 9, 2012, CommonWealth announced its quarterly common and preferred dividends. In that regard, defendants announced a common dividend of $0.25 per common share – a 50% reduction from the Company’s previous dividend rate.
Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of CommonWealth common shares during the Class Period (the “Class”). The plaintiff is represented by Robbins Geller, which has expertise in prosecuting investor class actions and extensive experience in actions involving financial fraud.
Robbins Geller represents U.S. and international institutional investors in contingency-based securities and corporate litigation. With nearly 200 lawyers in nine offices, the firm represents hundreds of public and multi-employer pension funds with combined assets under management in excess of $2 trillion. The firm has obtained many of the largest recoveries and has been ranked number one in the number of shareholder class action recoveries in MSCI’s Top SCAS 50 every year since 2003. According to Cornerstone Research, the firm’s recoveries have averaged 35% above the median for all firms over the past seven years (2005-2011). Please visit http://www.rgrdlaw.com for more information.