Investigation of Prudential Financial
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Prudential Financial, Inc. (PRU) Accused of Misleading Shareholders
According to the complaint for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between February 15, 2019 and August 2, 2019, in February 2019, Prudential Financial, Inc. (PRU) filed its 2018 Form 10-K, touting full year and fourth quarter 2018 net income of $4.09 billion and $842 million, respectively. The Form 10-K alluded to the potential risk of changing mortality trends and its impact on the assumptions the Company used to calculate reserves, but made no disclosures that the Company was already experiencing mortality trend changes. Then, on May 1, 2019, Prudential announced disappointing earnings results that fell short of analyst expectations. Prudential nevertheless reassured investors that “with a foundation of a rock-solid balance sheet, [Prudential still] continued to return capital totaling $915 million to shareholders.” At its June 2019 Investor Day conference, Prudential reaffirmed its financial performance as well as its prospects and future growth. Then, on July 31, 2019, Prudential’s second quarter 2019 financial results fell short of expectations yet again and, as a result, the Company would take a pre-tax charge of $208 million to reserves, citing changes in “mortality assumptions” for the negative impact. Following its disclosures, Prudential’s stock declined almost 16% to close at $85.95 per share.