Data management company NetApp trading halted


Oops.  Accidental early release causes volatility in NetApp.


NetApp stock was halted this afternoon after investors got access to its earnings announcement early and caused the stock price to plummet.  Here’s a good example of just how careful companies need to be when using their website to post material information.  Around 2:30 today, a link to NTAP’s Q2 earnings report was circulated around Wall Street – a full 2 hours before the press release was scheduled to hit the wires.  The link contained a weaker-than-expected outlook for the next quarter and sent the stock 7% lower in minutes.  Eventually the stock was halted and the news was released properly, but the stock didn’t open again for the day and too bad for the investors who didn’t get to see the link early.  A similar thing happened to Disney last week.  Neither company has given a solid explanation for how the release was leaked, but speculation is that the news was accessed through a supposedly “secure area” of their IR websites.  IROs beware!