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AutoNation, Inc. : Nine companies sued over "exclusive forum" bylaws

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02/08/2012 | 03:33am CEST

Chevron Corp (>> Chevron Corporation) and eight other corporations were sued by shareholders on Tuesday for adopting a bylaw that requires common types of shareholder lawsuits be brought exclusively in Delaware's Chancery Court.

"Exclusive forum" bylaws are being adopted by more and more corporations as a way to control a surge in shareholder litigation, though the move has been resisted by shareholders.

The interest in the bylaw comes as shareholders are increasingly bringing simultaneous lawsuits making nearly identical claims in two or more courts, often challenging merger deals.

Tuesday's lawsuits said the nine companies adopted the bylaw to reduce the risk that directors would be found liable.

"(The bylaw) was initiated, timed, structured and approved to benefit the directors at the expense of the stockholders," said the lawsuits.

Shareholders have resisted being forced to bring claims for breach of fiduciary duties and other matters of Delaware corporate law in the state's Chancery Court, which is often perceived as being overly protective of management at the expense of shareholders.

Some companies have adopted the "exclusive forum" through shareholder votes to amend charters, while others such as Facebook Inc have adopted them ahead of an initial public offering. The nine companies that were sued by shareholders adopted the bylaw by a vote of the board of directors.

In addition to Chevron, the companies are Priceline.com Inc (>> Priceline.com Inc), Franklin Resources Inc (>> Franklin Resources, Inc.), SPX Corp (>> SPX Corporation), Autonation Inc (>> AutoNation, Inc.), Superior Energy Services Inc (>> Superior Energy Services, Inc.), Danaher Corp (>> Danaher Corporation), Navistar International Corp (>> Navistar International Corporation) and Curtis Wright Corp (>> Curtiss-Wright Corp.).

The lawsuits were all brought by the Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP and Prickett, Jones & Elliott PA law firms.

(Reporting By Tom Hals; Editing by Bernard Orr)

By Tom Hals

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Financials ($)
Sales 2017 21 610 M
EBIT 2017 775 M
Net income 2017 361 M
Debt 2017 3 068 M
Yield 2017 -
P/E ratio 2017 12,51
P/E ratio 2018 11,50
EV / Sales 2017 0,35x
EV / Sales 2018 0,31x
Capitalization 4 504 M
Duration : Period :
AutoNation, Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | AN | US05329W1027 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends AUTONATION, INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 17
Average target price 42,9 $
Spread / Average Target -4,3%
EPS Revisions
Michael J. Jackson Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Lance E. Iserman COO & Executive Vice President-Sales
Cheryl Scully-Miller Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Thomas Conophy Chief Technology Officer & Executive VP
Rick L. Burdick Independent Director
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INCHCAPE18.30%4 562