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Alleged market manipulation costs Farmland Partners

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Denver, Colorado based Farmland Partners said the Covid-19 pandemic has not materially affected first half trading, but the medium-term outlook is harder to gauge. Meanwhile, the company believes it has been the victim of a market manipulation scheme.

 

Farmland Partners is a publicly traded real estate investment trust that manages and seeks to acquire both high-quality farmland and potentially productive land throughout North America.

 

“So far, the direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company’s business and operations has been limited,” it noted at the release of Second half trading figures. “As broader sectors of the US agricultural economy are affected through supply chain and commodity price disruptions, the company believes it may experience some yet largely unidentified impact in the medium term.

 

“In the long term, the company does not expect that the pandemic will affect materially the global demand for food, feed, fuel and fibre - and therefore the value of its farmland portfolio.”

 

For the three months ended June 30, 2020, the Company recorded net income of $0.2 million and basic net loss to common stockholders of $0.10 per share, as compared to net income of $6.5 million and basic net income to common stockholders of $0.09 per share for the same period during 2019.

 

The company reported a net income of $0.6 million on operating revenues of $22.2m in the first six months of 2020, compared to $6.5m and $21.8m in first half of 2019.

 

Unmasking of conspirators

 

"The biggest events this quarter were the unmasking of Rota Fortunae (Quinton Mathews) and co-conspirators Sabrepoint Capital Management, LP, George Baxter and Donald Marchiony, and the Court’s denial of Rota Fortunae’s motion to dismiss our complaint," said Farmland Partners chief executive Paul A Pittman.

 

"We now have additional information that strongly suggests this was a "short and distort" market manipulation scheme orchestrated by one or more hedge funds and their personnel who conspired with their paid author Mathews. We will continue to pursue financial recovery from the parties who committed this fraud against the company and its shareholders," Mr Pittman concluded.

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