Violations of federal securities laws as a result of a series of materially false statements. The Complaint claims that statements issued by Defendants about the strength of SeaDrill's business and prospects were materially false and misleading and that the Company has historically paid a large dividend, which it raised twice in early 2014, resulting in it paying a $1 per share quarterly dividend during the last two quarters of 2014. Defendants maintained that due to the Company's strong backlog and the strength of its balance sheet, despite any turbulence in the oil industry, SeaDrill would not cut its $4 per share annual dividend. As a result of Defendants' statements, SeaDrill ADRs traded at artificially inflated prices, reaching a high of more than $38 per ADR in July 2014. The Complaint states that on November 26, 2014, before the markets opened, SeaDrill reported disappointing third quarter 2014 financial results (for the period ended September 30, 2014), announcing that it had missed its profit targets and was indefinitely suspending its dividend, citing its need to pay down its debt to strengthen its balance sheet. Additionally, the Company also disclosed that its Board of Directors had authorized the repurchase of up to 10% of its outstanding shares. On this news, the price of SeaDrill ADRs fell from $20.71 per ADR to $15.99 per ADR on extremely heavy trading volume, a 58% decline from the ADRs' high of more than $38 per ADR. Filed in S.D.N.Y.
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