The FSA is looking into claims that Baltimore briefed analysts before issuing a trading update warning of a sales slowdown.
However the company maintains that the comments – made by chief executive Fran Rooney at a teach-in for analysts last Friday – were misinterpreted and only intended to highlight product, technology and market developments, not trading conditions.
In a statement the company said Rooney had commented on the challenging trading conditions that the software industry in general is currently experiencing in the United States.
Finance director Paul Sanders told AccountancyAge.com that the trading statement was then issued only because the comments had been misinterpreted by analysts.
‘Based on the interpretation of particular comments, the share price came under downward pressure,’ he said. ‘We felt that the right thing to do was to issue a trading statement.’
The statement warned that Baltimore had ‘experienced some sales being delayed due to the prevailing economic climate’.
An FSA spokesman was unable to comment on the case, but added: ‘There are correct channels and rules which companies must obey when they are making financial announcements.’
Sanders added: ‘Information is being fed through to the FSA and we are confident that the issue will be cleared up.’
Baltimore plans to make a further statement in the second week of April with detail of the final revenue for the first quarter together with an update on market and corporate initiatives.
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