PITTSBURGH– LAWFUEL Class Actions – –Notice is hereby given by the Law Office of Alfred G. Yates Jr., PC that it has filed a class action in the Southern District of New York on behalf of all those who purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (“Merrill” or the “Company”) (NYSE:MER) during the expanded Class Period of October 17, 2006 and November 7, 2007, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than January 2, 2008. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff’s counsel, Alfred G. Yates, Jr. at 1-800-391-5164 or via e-mail at [email protected] Any member of the purported class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.
The complaint charges Merrill and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. More specifically, the Complaint alleges that Merrill had gone aggressively into Collateralized Debt Obligations (“CDOs”), securities backed by pools of assets including mortgages, which generated higher yields in the short term but which would be devastating to the Company as the real estate market continued to soften and the risky loans led to losses. According to the Complaint, the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse facts which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them: (1) that the Company had failed to fully disclose the extent of its exposure to collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”); (2) that the Company had failed to timely write-down the value of its CDOs as conditions in the housing and credit markets deteriorated; (3) as such, the Company’s investment portfolio was impaired; (4) that, as a result of the above, the Company would be forced to take substantial charges in its third quarter 2007 to remedy such failures, causing the Company to suffer a net loss in the quarter; (5) that the Company lacked adequate internal and financial controls; and (6) that, as a result of the foregoing, the Company’s financial statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On October 5, 2007, Merrill acknowledged that it would have to take a $4.5 billion charge for the third quarter 2007 for mortgage and credit problems. Then, on October 24, 2007, Merrill issued a press release before the market opened announcing that the Company would take an $7.9 billion charge for the third quarter, instead of the $4.5 billion previously announced. In reaction to this news of its largest quarterly loss in its 93 year history, Merrill’s stock closed at $63.22 on October 24, 2007, down from the previous day’s close of $67.12. Following what it characterized as Merrill’s “startling” announcement, on October 25, 2007, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services reduced Merrill’s credit rating. Subsequently, on October 25, 2007, Merrill’s stock closed at $60.90. Then, on November 2, 2007, it was reported that Merrill may have engaged in hedge fund deals designed to cover up and delay the reporting of losses to its CDO portfolio. On this news, the Company’s shares declined an additional $4.91 per share, or almost 8 percent, to close on November 2, 2007 at $57.28 per share, on heavy trading volume. Finally on November 7, 2007 Merrill acknowledged that federal regulators were investigating matters related to its holdings of high-risk mortgage debt and it disclosed further details of its 7.9 billion total net losses related to its U.S. ABS CDO positions and warehouses, as well as its U.S. sub-prime mortgage related assets. On this news, the Company’s shares fell an additional $2.38 per share, or 4.2 percent, to close on November 7, 2007 at $53.99 per share, on heavy trading volume.