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Babcock is a technology-based provider of advanced fossil and renewable power generation equipment that includes a suite of boiler products, environmental systems, and services for power and industrial uses.
On July 1, 2015, Babcock began trading independently as a public company after spinning off from The Babcock & Wilcox Company by way of distribution of shares of B&W common stock to holders of the Company's former parent. The distribution of B&W common stock was made on June 30, 2015, and consisted of one share of B&W common stock for every two shares of the former parent's common stock as of the record date, June 18, 2015. Cash was paid in lieu of any fractional shares of Babcock common stock.
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, the Company was experiencing significant, undisclosed problems in its Renewable segment. Although defendants disclosed issues with a single project in the Renewable business on June 28, 2016, the complaint alleges they failed to disclose that similar problems were significantly and negatively impacting other projects in the Company's Renewable segment, instead assuring investors during a business update call that the problems were "a single project issue." In response to this partial disclosure, as well as lowered financial guidance for 2016, the price of B&W stock declined by 21% on June 28, 2016.
Then, after the market closed on February 28, 2017, the Company announced its fourth quarter and full year 2016 financial results. Missing earnings expectations by a wide margin, the Company lost $71.6 million, or ($1.47) per share, in the fourth quarter on revenue totaling $380 million. Accounting for one-time gains and losses, the announcement was even worse, with the Company losing an adjusted $77.7 million, or ($1.60) per share, on continuing operations – a full $1.97 per share lower than the average analyst's projection for adjusted earnings per share ("EPS") of positive $0.37. The Company also revealed that it took charges in the fourth quarter 2016 resulting from its Renewable business, which reduced margins, and also increased its contingencies for several of its Renewable projects, which also negatively impacted the Company's financial condition.
On this news, the price of Babcock stock dropped rapidly. After closing at $16.50 per share on February 28, 2017, the stock opened at $11.09 on March 1, 2017, and ultimately dropped 37% to close at $10.33 per share on abnormally high trading volume.
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