Shareholders with losses exceeding $100,000 are encouraged to contact the firm.
BENSALEM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Law Offices of Howard G. Smith announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of investors who purchased Vertex Energy, Inc. (“Vertex” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: VTNR) securities between April 1, 2022 and August 8, 2022, inclusive (the “Class Period”). Vertex investors have until May 2, 2023 to file a lead plaintiff motion.
Investors suffering losses on their Vertex investments are encouraged to contact the Law Offices of Howard G. Smith to discuss their legal rights in this class action at 888-638-4847 or by email to [email protected].
On August 9, 2022, before the market opened, Vertex released its second quarter 2022 financial results, revealing a net loss of $63.8 million and an adjusted EBITDA that was approximately 50% less than guidance given just three months prior. Vertex also withdrew its financial guidance for the remainder of fiscal year 2022 and fiscal year 2023.
On this news, Vertex’s stock price fell $6.18, or 44.2%, to close at $7.80 per share on August 9, 2022, thereby injuring investors.
The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors that: (1) prior to the acquisition of the Mobile refinery, defendants had entered into inventory and crack spread hedging derivatives that significantly capped the profit margins on 50% of the Mobile refinery’s expected output over the period April 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022, affecting over 6.5 million barrels of refined fuel output. These hedges severely limited Vertex’s ability to capitalize on the record-high crack spreads that existed at the time of the acquisition and resulted in over $90 million in losses in the second quarter of fiscal year 2022; (2) prior to the acquisition of the Mobile refinery, defendants had entered into an inventory intermediation agreement with the investment bank Macquarie Group, whereby Macquarie purchased (from third parties), owned, and sold (to Vertex) all crude oil inventory to be used at the Mobile refinery and also purchased (from Vertex), owned, and sold (to third parties) all refined fuel inventory produced at the Mobile refinery. The strict terms of the arrangement, including requiring Vertex to purchase hedges to protect Macquarie’s position in holding the crude and refined inventory, combined with the fact that the oil market was in a state of backwardation in early 2022, resulted in Vertex incurring significant fees and inventory losses. The losses, which began as of the April 1, 2022 acquisition date, totaled $23 million during the second quarter of fiscal year 2022; (3) prior to the acquisition of the Mobile refinery, defendants had entered into an inventory purchase agreement with Shell Oil as part of the Mobile acquisition agreement. Vertex had anticipated purchasing approximately $100 million of crude oil and refined fuel inventory. Immediately prior to the closing of the acquisition, Vertex learned that pursuant to the terms of the purchase agreement, it would be required to purchase substantially more inventory from Shell Oil, totaling $164 million. Due to the state of backwardation in the oil market, Vertex was forced to pay Shell Oil above-market prices for the additional crude oil inventory. The additional Shell Oil inventory purchase triggered $13.3 million in inventory losses at or around the time of the acquisition; (4) immediately following the acquisition of the Mobile refinery, Vertex experienced production issues that caused significant shortfalls in refined fuel volumes. The production issues resulted in $8 million of lost profits during the second quarter of fiscal year 2022; (5) following the acquisition of the Mobile refinery, defendants overstated the purported profit margins that could be achieved at the refinery. Defendants represented that the “3-2-1 crack spread” was the appropriate benchmark for the Mobile refinery; however it was later revealed that the “2-1-1 crack spread,” which resulted in lower profits per barrel of production, was the more accurate profit benchmark for the Mobile refinery; and (6) as a result of the above misrepresentations and concealed facts, the Mobile refinery did not “generate strong EBITDA” “[d]uring the first 30 days of operations,” and the Mobile refinery transition was not “seamless”; and (7) as a result, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.
If you purchased Vertex securities, have information or would like to learn more about these claims, 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 [email protected], or visit our website at www.howardsmithlaw.com.
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