The law firm of Kirby McInerney LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of those who acquired Shift4 Payments, Inc. (“Shift4” or the “Company”) (NYSE: FOUR) securities during the period from November 10, 2021 through April 18, 2023, inclusive (the “Class Period”). Investors have until October 19, 2023 to apply to the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.
In Shift4’s third quarter of 2022, the Company completed its so-called mass strategic buyout program as part of a purported strategic initiative to insource its sales distribution network. According to Shift4, because the Company is not a member bank as defined in certain payment network rules, the Company is not eligible for primary membership in certain payment networks and is therefore unable to directly access them. Accordingly, Shift4’s payment networks require the Company to be sponsored by a member bank as a service provider, which the Company has accomplished through a sponsorship agreement with its sponsor bank. To cover overdraft obligations at the sponsor bank, prior to December 2022, Shift4 had funds deposited in a sponsor bank merchant settlement account to facilitate gross card transaction deposits for those customers the Company bills on a monthly, as opposed to a daily, basis.
On October 21, 2022, Shift4 disclosed in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that the Company’s third quarter 2021, full year 2021, first quarter 2022, and second quarter 2022 financial statements should no longer be relied upon and would need to be restated because of a material weakness in the Company’s financial controls, which had caused it to incorrectly treat customer acquisition costs as cash used in investing activities rather than cash used in operating activities in its Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows. As a result, Shift4 was forced to negatively revise its net cash provided by operating activities to $3 million (down from its originally reported $29.2 million), $30.8 million (down from its originally reported $37.1 million), and $70.8 million (down from its originally reported $85 million) for the year ended December 31, 2021, the three months ended March 31, 2022, and the six months ended June 30, 2022, respectively.
On this news, the price of Shift4 shares declined by $1.21 per share, or approximately 2.67%, from $45.37 per share to close at $44.16 on October 24, 2022.
Then, on April 19, 2023, Blue Orca Capital published a report alleging that Shift4 “engaged in a string of highly questionable and hyperaggressive accounting maneuvers seemingly designed to keep the stock afloat” including “cash flow manipulation” and “inexplicable distributor acquisitions that enabled it to capitalize a major component of COGS.” Blue Orca Capital also alleges that Shift4 engaged in unreported related-party transactions and that the Company’s questionable accounting maneuvers “inflated 2022 gross profit by 13%, Adj. EBITDA by 34%, and operating income by close to 3x.” On this news, the price of Shift4 shares declined by $5.95 per share, or approximately 8.68%, from $68.54 per share to close at $62.59 on April 19, 2023.
If you purchased or otherwise acquired Shift4 securities, have information, or would like to learn more about this lawsuit and how it might affect your rights, please contact Thomas W. Elrod of Kirby McInerney LLP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by filling out this contact form, to discuss your rights or interests with respect to these matters without any cost to you.
Kirby McInerney LLP is a New York-based plaintiffs’ law firm concentrating in securities, antitrust, whistleblower, and consumer litigation. The firm’s efforts on behalf of shareholders in securities litigation have resulted in recoveries totaling billions of dollars. Additional information about the firm can be found at Kirby McInerney LLP’s website: https://www.kmllp.com.
This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules.