Girard Gibbs is investigating Commonwealth REIT (NYSE: CWH) and its officers and directors for possible violations of federal securities laws. Commonwealth investors who wish to learn more about the investigation, and persons with information relating to the investigation, should contact Girard Gibbs securities fraud attorney Jonathan K. Levine toll free at (866) 981-4800.
Commonwealth is a real estate investment trust (commonly referred to as a “REIT”) that owns office buildings throughout the United States. Beginning in January 2012, the company announced dividend rates for its shareholders and stated that the amounts were based on strong occupancy rates and leases. Commonwealth declared the same dividend for two more quarters, and its executives made positive statements to investors and analysts on Commonwealth’s earnings calls about the company’s leases and occupancy rates.
But in August 2012, Commonwealth announced that the “weak leasing market” and “declining occupancy” could force the company to adjust the dividend rate in the coming months. The company’s stock declined by nearly 10%, leading to significant Commonwealth stock losses for investors. Then, in October, Commonwealth cut its dividend payment in half.