Franklin Quest Co. said Tuesday its 1992 preliminary results for the fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year ended Aug. 31 "will be in line with published analysts' estimates."
The Salt Lake-based time management company said the announcement was made in advance of its earnings report because of recent significant increases in trading volume of the company's common stock and a decline in its share price. Franklin said it expects to release its earnings report early next month."We are aware of certain false rumors which are circulating in the marketplace," said Arlen B. Crouch, president and chief operating officer.
"The company believes that false information is being created and communicated by certain short sellers to adversely affect the price for its stock for their own advantage."
Short sellers sell stock they don't own in the belief its price will fall and they will profit on the difference. Some short sellers have been accused of starting false rumors about a company they are "shorting" in order to push its share price down.
"The company has notified regulatory authorities of the increase in trading volume and the inaccuracy of the information being disseminated and has requested that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Stock Exchange investigate these activities," said Crouch.
Syndicated columnist Dan Dorfman charged Monday in his "Inside Talk" column in USA Today that Franklin Quest's published earnings and revenues figures involve "monkey business."
Dorfman cites several unnamed short sellers who "allege that part of the company's revenue and earnings figures are fraudulent, which eventually will lead to a restatement of its results."
Franklin, formerly Franklin International Institute until the name change earlier this year, went public in a June 3 offering in which it sold 4 million shares of common stock at $15.50 each. It closed Monday on the NYSE at 16, down 3/4. It has traded as high as $20 since the offering.
Jay Atwood, Franklin's chief financial officer, told the Deseret News Monday that he is "comfortable" in estimating revenues of 90 cents per share for the fiscal year ended Monday and in projecting earnings of $1.05 per share next year.