In Weber’s process of going public during the pandemic, then returning private after tanking sales, they left some investors unhappy. The proposed class action suit accused Weber of misrepresenting the effects of Covid in their sales projection.
Shareholder Robert Michalski alleged that Weber led investors to believe the extremely high sales volume through the pandemic was sustainable, as opposed to other factors such as pull-forward purchasing.
The suit was tossed by a U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo this week, saying that the security registration had warnings about uncertainty following the pandemic.
The Registration Statement is replete with warnings about the uncertainty of Weber’s operations and growth post-Covid. For example, it expressed optimism that studies showing “fundamental shifts in consumer behavior,” which included an increase in “cooking at home,” would continue to provide “positive tailwinds to our industry,” but it cautioned that the pandemic “accelerated” these trends, thus alerting investors that the unprecedented gains the company had achieved while consumers were unable or reluctant to eat out may not be representative of its future performance.U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo
The judge continued that the projections given were “non-actionable opinions”. In other words, it was a classic case of investor beware, as with any security.
Nevertheless, I note that each of the specific statements plaintiff identifies as misleading bears the classic hallmarks of non-actionable opinions or projections about how market trends and consumer behavior could affect business going forward.U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo