Alloy’s Shareholder Lawsuits Growing

Another day, another spate of shareholder lawsuits against Alloy , an online/offline marketer that focuses on youths in the 10-24 age group.

Within the past three days, three law firms have filed suit against the New York marketing company on behalf of shareholders, alleging that it issued misleading information about its earnings picture. In addition, press releases announcing the actions are seeking other investors to come forward and attach their names to similar actions.

The complaints come a few weeks after Jan. 24th, a day in which investors hit the sell button on Alloy and pushed its price down by close to half to $4.53 from $9.10 after it announced that rising costs would eat into its fourth-quarter net income. In addition, it said its cash flow would come in the $30 million to $31 million range instead of between $34 million and $38 million during the same time frame.

On Monday, law firm Schiffrin & Barroway said it filed suit in federal court in New York’s southern district on behalf of all common stock shareholders. The firm charged that company executives such as CEO Matthew C. Diamond, COO James K. Johnson Jr. and CFO Samuel A. Gradess, issued “materially false and misleading statements to the market between August 1, 2002 and January 23, 2003.”

The complaint said the company, unbeknownst to investors, was facing much tougher competition for the youth market than it let on, and, coupled with the weak economy, had to roll out free shipping and deep discounts that ate into Alloy’s gross margins.

The action on Monday follows a similar action filed Saturday against Alloy and senior management executives, and one filed Friday by Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, a law firm well known for class action suits on behalf of shareholders.

Alloy is expected to announce fourth quarter results on Wednesday, March 19th.

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