Central Parking sued for 'false statements'

Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP filed an action against Central Parking Corporation. Following is the offical statement published by the law firm.
The filing in Nashville federal court relates to a Feb. 14 plunge in the stock after the company missed its first-quarter earnings forecast. The shortfall was attributed largely to a $1.5 million accounting error, a $1.1 million rise in bad debt reserves and disappointing revenue growth.

The suit claims statements made by Central Parking between Nov. 4, 2002, and Feb 13 didn't inform investors of inadequate internal controls, or that its reserves for bad debt and accounts payable were understated.

It seeks class-action status for buyers of the stock during the period and was filed by the law firm of Cauley Geller Bowman and Rudman LLP.

Based in Nashville, Central Parking is the nation's largest operator of parking lots. Its shares yesterday rose 5 cents to close at $12.40. The company could not be reached for comment.

Following is the offical statement published by the law firm Schiffrin & Barroway

Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of Central Parking Corporation ("Central Parking" or the "Company") (NYSE:CPC) from November 4, 2002 through February 13, 2003, inclusive (the "Class Period").

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP (Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Stuart L. Berman, Esq.) toll free at 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706, or via e-mail at info@sbclasslaw.com.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the market between November 4, 2002 and February 13, 2003, thereby artificially inflating the price of Central Parking common stock. The Complaint alleges that these statements were materially false and misleading because they failed to disclose and misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others: (a) that the Company's internal controls were inadequate to record and document the Company's financial results; (b) that the Company was materially understating its bad debt reserve, thereby overstating its earnings; (c) that the Company was materially understating its accounts payable, thereby overstating its financial condition; and (d) as a result of the foregoing, the Company's financial statements were not prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and, therefore, were materially false and misleading.

On February 14, 2003, Central Parking shocked the market when it announced that it would be taking a charge to increase its bad debt reserve and that it would be taking a charge to increase its accounts payables. In response to this announcement, the price of Central Parking common stock dropped from $15.82 on February 13, 2003 to a close of $12.31 on February 14, 2003, or a single-day decline of more than 22%, on more than seven times normal trading volume.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of class members and is represented by the law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, which prosecutes class actions in both state and federal courts throughout the country. Schiffrin & Barroway is a driving force behind corporate governance reform, and has recovered in excess of a billion dollars on behalf of institutional and high net worth individual investors.
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