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Shareholders: Salesforce.com misled us before IPO

Three lawsuits allege that the company made false statements about its financial prospects in the run-up to its stock market launch.

A group of Salesforce.com shareholders has filed a class-action lawsuit against the online software provider, alleging that it misled investors to prop up its IPO price.

The suit was filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina on behalf of investors who purchased shares during the company's stock launch last month. It's the third shareholder suit to target Salesforce with essentially similar allegations.

The complaint, introduced by law firm Schiffrin & Barroway, alleges that Salesforce and two executives--Marc Benioff, company founder and chief executive, and Steve Cakebread, board director--failed to disclose "adverse" pertinent information to investors.

"The company knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that its revenues and earnings per share were steadily declining," the lawsuit alleged. "The defendants concealed the aforementioned facts from the investing public, in order to boost the price of the IPO, which netted the company $126 million."

Salesforce.com declined to comment for this story.

Salesforce, a services company that delivers customer relationship management software over the Web, last month launched one of the most successful and closely watched tech stock offerings in recent years. Investors snapped up the stock, which ended its first day of public trading with a whopping