Shine Lawyers has been investigating a proposed action on behalf of shareholders who purchased shares in Vocus between 29 November 2016 and 1 May 2017, in relation to alleged misconduct by Vocus. A similar class action has been commenced in the Federal Court of Australia based on the same alleged misconduct, and we have determined that it is not in Vocus shareholders’ interests to commence a competing class action.
On 2 May 2017, Vocus provided its shareholders with a trading update downgrading the FY17 earning guidance that it had previously provided at its annual general meeting in November 2016.
The 2 May 2017 downgrade had a number of effects including a reduction of $100 million to FY17 forecast revenue, a reduction of $55 million to $85 million in the FY17 forecast underlying EDITDA and a reduction of $40 million to $55 million in FY17 forecast NPAT.
After the May 2017 downgrade, Vocus’s share price fell by 27%, reducing its market value by about $561 million.
Was it reasonable for Vocus to provide their FY17 earnings guidance in November 2016? Did it neglect to inform the market when it realised its FY17 earnings would be lower than first forecast? Did Vocus breach its continuous disclosure obligations by failing to disclose that it had misinterpreted the revenue in its FY17 earnings guidance prior to May 2017? These questions are the subject of our investigation as we attempt to redress the wrongs done to Vocus’s shareholders.