Throughout 2019, Apple – or, more precisely, some of its top executives – received three lawsuits on charges of fraud, related to the financial results for the first fiscal quarter of the year. The first two came in early January [1, 2], while the third arrived in May; now, to close the year of misfortunes (in this area, at least) of Apple, we already have one more.
For those who don’t remember the whole thing very well, let’s go back to the infamous January 2, 2019, when Tim Cook, in a letter to investors, acknowledged the low sales of iPhones and reduced the revenue forecast for the quarter – from the estimated value between US $ 89 and US $ 93 billion, the company lowered expectations to US $ 84 billion (which ended up being more or less the result final, even).
Investors, of course, did not like this story at all and filed the three aforementioned lawsuits against Apple executives (focused especially on Cook and chief financial officer Luca Maestri), accusing them of artificially inflating the company’s revenue forecast and thereby , cause an unrealistic spike – and subsequent sharp drop – in the company’s stock.
The newest process, as reported by the Patently Apple, goes in the same vein. The action was brought by the shareholder John Votto and claims that by issuing a misleading revenue forecast and then correcting it, Apple violated federal financial security laws and caused a sharp drop in the company’s stock, damaging the reputation of its board of directors.
It remains to be seen whether the suit will turn out to be anything: the other three lawsuits of this type are at a standstill, and Apple appears to have set up a solid defense with its arsenal of lawyers. The argument is simple: inflated revenue forecasts were just a mistake, and the company was quick to correct it as soon as it got more information about the iPhones’ commercial performance. If justice will buy this speech, however, we will have to wait and see.