Risk & Compliance

Emcore Battles the Bloggers

The company delicately tackles a short-seller's negative posting with a press release and a request for a government investigation.
Roy HarrisMarch 21, 2008

Emcore Corp. got at least a two-day stock-market respite late last week after taking the unusual step Tuesday of trying to counter a negative blog posting — not only issuing an Emcore press release but also asking securities regulators to “investigate whether improper relationships exist between this blog and recent short selling of our stock.”

How did the Albuquerque-based chip maker manage to handle the delicate problem of having to repeat what the blogger said in order to deny it? Well, Emcore didn’t say anything about what was in the original 30-paragraph posting.

Shares of Emcore traded just above $6 on both Wednesday and Thursday, still sharply off from the prices above $9, where the company was trading when the Website, identified in the press as Citronresearch.com, posted a lengthy report headlined “Citron Research shines some daylight on Emcore’s solar business.” The report started out by making a vague connection between the company’s situation and “the complete debacle at Bear Stearns.”

Emcore interim CFO Adam Gushard had not responded by late Thursday to an E-mail from CFO.com seeking comment about the company’s reaction to the blog posting. But in a press release that listed Gushard as a contact, Emcore CEO Reuben Richards said: “We normally do not directly respond to reports about our company, including those from sources a great deal more reputable than a blog. We feel, however, that this particular posting required a response because we believe that its conclusions are materially inaccurate and seriously misleading.” He added: “Government securities regulators have been asked to investigate whether improper relationships exist between this blog and recent short selling of our stock.”

As of late Thursday, Citronresearch.com had not responded to a request from CFO.com for comment.

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