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Informix sued over stock dive

Informix, facing the plummeting price of its stock, is hit with a shareholder lawsuit.

Informix (IFMX), faced with the plummeting price of its stock, has been hit with a shareholder lawsuit.

Shareholders today announced a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging the company, its chief executive Philip White, and chief technology officer Michael Stonebraker issued misleading statements on the database maker's current and future financial prospects.

Investors allege that beginning December 2 and ending April 1, Informix discussed the availability of its new software, Universal Server, and the expectation it would drive existing product sales and take a technological lead in the first quarter.

But on April 1, the company said its preliminary first-quarter results would reflect sharply lower revenues because of sluggish sales on its core product line and that it would take a "substantial" loss.

Informix, the world's second-largest database software vendor, said it would generate revenues in the range of $130 million and $145 million for the quarter that ended March 30. Before the announcement, Wall Street had expected the company to post revenues upwards of $240 million and earnings of 12 cents a share, according to First Call.

The company's shares lost more than a third of their value to close at nearly 10 on April 1 from 15-1/8 the previous day. The stock closed Friday at 7-11/16.

The defendants also allege misleading statements were issued in order to allow Stonebraker to sell 87,500 shares at $1.635 million.

Robert Manetta, a company spokesman, said Informix has not yet seen the lawsuit and has no comment.