Equity Bancshares, Inc.
- Company Name
- Equity Bancshares, Inc.
- Stock Symbol
- Class Period
- May 11, 2018 to April 22, 2019
- Motion Deadline
- July 12, 2019
- Southern District of New York
The complaint charges Equity Bancshares and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Equity Bancshares provides a broad range of financial services through its wholly-owned subsidiary Equity Bank, with branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants made materially false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and financial condition. Specifically, defendants failed to disclose that the Company lacked adequate internal controls to assess credit risk, and as a result, certain of the Company’s loans posed an increased risk of loss and the Company was reasonably likely to incur significant losses for certain of these substandard loans. As a result of this information being withheld from the market, Equity Bancshares securities traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, with its stock price reaching a high of more than $43 per share.
On January 24, 2019, the Company disclosed that during the fourth quarter of 2018, one credit relationship was downgraded to Watch and Substandard for $19 million and $9 million, respectively. On this news, the price of Equity Bancshares stock fell more than 6%.
Then on April 22, 2019, after the market closed, the Company reported a $4.1 million net loss for the first quarter of 2019, partly due to a $14.5 million impairment for loss against a credit relationship. On this news, the Company’s share price fell $4.76 per share, or over 16%, to close at $24.71 per share on April 23, 2019.