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办公用品支付一百万,解决美国证券交易委员会的指控

华盛顿( AP ) --办公用品有限公司在星期四同意支付一百万美元联邦费用,以解决其夸大收益并与关联组分享信息,这没有包含公共文件。

证券交易委员会宣布对办公用品的处理,办公用品这既不是承认也没否认公告。

公司被指控在2006年中期到2007年中期夸大其收益。 公司也被指控让其挑选的投资者和分析家知道这并不符合对2007年第二季收入的预估。

除了公司罚金之外,董事斯蒂芬奥德兰德和前财务总监帕特丽夏麦凯同意支付民事处罚$50,000,对选择公开信息进行负责。

在2007中的第二季度中,办公用品经理人制定了一系列的一对一的打电话给分析家,美国证券交易委员会在迈阿密联邦法院的民事诉讼案件中说。 经理人并不直接说办公用品公司将不能满足分析员的期望,但是提示可以发布与最近公布的声明相类似的关于受经济影响减缓收入的信息,根据美国证券交易委员会说。

分析员应对电话的反应是降低他们的收入预期。

奥德兰德和麦凯既不是承认也不是否认此说法。 美国证券交易委员会说经理人被公司鼓励用电话,但是不鼓励让他们直接参与。 在麦凯告诉一些分析家担心被公众揭发之后,其他公司的人仍然打电话,美国证券交易委员会说。电话开始拨打之后六天,办公用品得到可文件告知收入会减少由于疲软的经济。 在文件宣布之前,办公用品的股票价格急剧下降。

公司选择性的分享信息“让有利的投资者获得了一个不公平的优势,代价是牺牲其他的投资者,今天的行动表示,这是不合法的,”美国证券交易委员会执行主管罗勃特珊米在一个声明中说。

美国证券交易委员会监管的目的是众所周知的公平信息披露规则,为公平的信息披露,提供一个同等水平的领域,那么投资者都可以收到明确的公司信息在同一时间,机构的官员说。

在星期四办公用品报道在美国证券交易委员会的案件,注意到了解决有关于公司所有事件和奥德兰德起源于机构的调查。 发言人布莱恩莱文说公司拒绝进一步的评论。


 
Office Depot paying $1M to settle SEC charges

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Office Depot Inc. on Thursday agreed to pay $1 million to settle federal charges that it overstated earnings and shared information with a select group that it failed to include in public filings.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement with Office Depot, which neither admitted nor denied the allegations.

The company was accused of overstating earnings in mid-2006 through mid-2007. It was also accused of letting a select group of investors and analysts know that it wouldn't meet earnings estimates for the second quarter of 2007.

In addition to the company fine, Chief Executive Stephen Odland and former Chief Financial Officer Patricia McKay agreed to pay civil penalties of $50,000 in connection with the charges of selectively disclosing information.

In the second quarter of 2007, Office Depot executives made a series of one-on-one calls to analysts, the SEC said in a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Miami. The executives didn't directly say that Office Depot wouldn't meet analysts' expectations, but signaled that information by referring to recent public statements by companies with a similar profile about the impact of the economic slowdown on earnings, according to the SEC.

Analysts lowered their earnings estimates in response to the calls.

Odland and McKay neither admitted nor denied the allegations. The SEC said the executives encouraged the company to conduct the calls but didn't participate in them directly. Others in the company made the calls even after McKay was told that some analysts had concerns about the lack of public disclosure, the SEC said. Six days after the calls began, Office Depot made an SEC filing announcing that earnings would be reduced because of weakness in the economy. Before the filing was made, Office Depot's share price had fallen sharply.

The company's selective sharing of information "gave an unfair advantage to favored investors at the expense of other investors and, as today's action shows, is illegal," SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami said in a statement.

The purpose of the SEC rule known as Regulation FD, for fair disclosure, is to level the playing field so investors all receive significant company information at the same time, agency officials said.

Office Depot reported the settlement in an SEC filing Thursday, noting that it resolves all matters concerning the company and Odland stemming from the agency's investigation. Spokesman Brian Levine said the company declined to comment further.

 


 

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