Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LL) was recently fighting for its image against CBS news show “60 Minutes.” In short, “60 Minutes” alleged that the company’s products contained a high level of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. However, that was last week. Now Lumber Liquidators is fighting to save itself.
Lumber Liquidators filed a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the morning of March 2, claiming that “60 Minutes” used an “improper test method” in its reporting of high levels of formaldehyde.
In the filing, Lumber Liquidators asserted that its products comply with regulations set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), currently the only regulator of composite core emissions in the United States. The company also claims that the test used by “60 Minutes” “does not measure a product according to how it is actually used by consumers.”
Seemingly this appeared to be a pretty weak defense, and the on-air statement by the company’s founder and chairman did little to help the situation. According to analysts at Piper Jaffray cited at Business Insider, Tom Sullivan apparently conceded that the “video evidence called into question the company’s oversight of its providers.”
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In its statement to the SEC Monday morning, Lumber Liquidators assigned blame for its crumbling share price on an attack by short sellers. Take a step back. Maybe short sellers are attacking, but at the same time, the company’s performance has done nothing really to counter the shorts, and the “60 Minutes” story obviously did not help.
Even before these recent developments, shares dropped to a prior low of around $48, following another poor quarterly report in October. Since that time, the stock had been slowly recovering, until word of the “60 Minutes” report surfaced.
After the report came out, the stock continued to push lower. Since the end of February, only one day posted a positive gain, and during this time shares fell a total of 44%, in the course of a week, to current prices.
Just looking at the chart for the past 12 months, the company’s stock has dropped over 70%, sliding downward since early March last year from around $110, to around $30 currently.
Shares of Lumber Liquidators were down another 14% at $28.62 in the second half of Monday’s trading day. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $55.30 and a 52-week trading range of $28.25 to $108.40.
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