BENSALEM, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Law Offices of Howard G. Smith announces that it is investigating potential claims against CommonWealth REIT (“CommonWealth” or the “Company”) (NYSE:CWH) concerning possible violations of federal securities laws. CommonWealth is a real estate investment trust, whose primary business is the ownership and operation of real estate, including office and industrial buildings and leased industrial land. The investigation is related to allegations that certain statements issued by CommonWealth between January 10, 2012 and August 8, 2012 were false and misleading concerning the Company’s business and financial prospects.
Specifically, the investigation concerns allegations that the Company misrepresented or failed to disclose that: (1) CommonWealth was experiencing softness in the leasing market as the number of leased office spaces was below internal expectations, especially in the suburban office segment; (2) concessions granted to existing tenants were further eroding the Company’s rental income; and (3) as a result of the foregoing, there was no reasonable basis for the Company’s positive statements about CommonWealth’s leverage ratio, occupancy rate and dividend payout.
On August 8, 2012 CommonWealth announced it would likely reduce its dividend because, among other things, the Company’s cash available for distribution payout ratio had increased to 108%. In addition, the Company disclosed a decline in its occupancy rate, from 84.8% in March 2012 to 84.5% as of June 30, 2012. Following this news, CommonWealth common shares fell 9%, or $1.57 per share, to close at $16.48 per share on August 8, 2012.
If you purchased CommonWealth shares between January 10, 2012 and August 8, 2012, if you have information or would like to learn more about these claims, or if you wish to discuss these matters or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Howard G. Smith, Esquire, of Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020 by telephone at (215) 638-4847, Toll Free at (888) 638-4847, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at http://www.howardsmithlaw.com.