On January 23, 2017, Pomerantz LLP was appointed Lead Counsel in a class action lawsuit filed against AECOM ("AECOM" or the "Company") and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Central District of California, and docketed under 16-cv-06605, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired AECOM securities between February 11, 2015 and August 15, 2016 both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"). This class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
AECOM together with its subsidiaries, engages in designing, building, financing, and operating infrastructure assets worldwide. The Company operates through three segments: Design and Consulting Services (DCS), Construction Services (CS), and Management Services (MS). The DCS segment provides planning, consulting, architectural and engineering design, program management, and construction management services for industrial, commercial, institutional, and government clients, such as transportation, facilities, environmental, and energy/power markets. The CS segment offers building construction and energy, as well as infrastructure and industrial construction services. The MS segment provides program and facilities management and maintenance, training, logistics, consulting, technical assistance, and systems integration and information technology services primarily for agencies of the U.S. government and other national governments.
On October 17, 2014, AECOM announced that the Company had finalized its acquisition of URS Corp. ("URS" and the "URS Acquisition").
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company's business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) AECOM engaged in fraudulent and deceptive business practices (ii) AECOM lacked effective internal controls over financial reporting; (iii) AECOM overstated the benefits of the URS Acquisition; (iv) AECOM overstated the Company's free cash flow per share; and (v) as a result of the foregoing, AECOM's public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On August 16, 2016, Spruce Point Capital Management published a report on AECOM (the "Spruce Point Report"), stating that "after a careful forensic financial and accounting analysis of AECOM's recent financial results and condition, we believe that AECOM's stock is worth approximately 33% - 45% less than its current price." Among other issues, the Spruce Point Report cited AECOM management's "misaligned incentive structure," pursuant to which the Company's "CEO's $18 millioncompensation in 2015 [was] heavily tied to its aggressive interpretation of its Free Cash Flow per share," and asserted that the Company had misrepresented the costs and benefits of the URS Acquisition.
On this news, AECOM stock fell $1.65, or 4.7%, to close at $33.44 on August 16, 2016, damaging investors.