Sirota & Sirota and Lovell & Stewart Announce Securities Fraud Class Action Against MarketWatch.com, Inc., Its President, Directors, Investment Banks

Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Sirota & Sirota, LLP and Lovell & Stewart, LLP

    NEW YORK, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The law firms of Sirota & Sirota, LLP
 ((212) 425-9055 or http://www.sirotalaw.com) and Lovell & Stewart, LLP
 ((212) 608-1900 or http://www.lovellstewart.com) filed a class action lawsuit
 on April 17, 2001 on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased,
 converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of
 MarketWatch.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:   MKTW) between January 15, 1999 and
 April 16, 2001, inclusive.  The lawsuit asserts claims under Sections 11, 12
 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
 Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated by the SEC
 thereunder and seeks to recover damages.   If you wish to serve as lead
 plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than June 17, 2001.
     The action, Laurence Bonilla v. MarketWatch.com, Inc., et al., is pending
 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (500 Pearl
 Street, New York, New York), Docket No. 01-CV-3225 (LLS) and has been assigned
 to the Hon. Louis L. Stanton, Senior U.S. District Judge.  The complaint
 alleges that MarketWatch.com, Inc., Larry S. Kramer, its Chairman and Chief
 Executive Officer and Directors James A. DePalma, Alan R. Hirschfield, Allan
 R. Tessler, Mark F. Imperiale, Andrew Heyward and Michael H. Jordan violated
 the federal securities laws by issuing and selling MarketWatch.com common
 stock pursuant to the January 15, 1999 IPO without disclosing to investors
 that some of the underwriters in the offering, including the lead
 underwriters, had solicited and received excessive and undisclosed commissions
 from certain investors.
     In exchange for the excessive commissions, the complaint alleges, lead
 underwriter Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. and underwriters BancBoston Robertson
 Stephens, Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation, The Goldman Sachs
 Group, Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Incorporated and Morgan
 Stanley Dean Witter & Co. allocated MarketWatch.com shares to customers at the
 IPO price of $17.00 per share.  To receive the allocations (i.e., the ability
 to purchase shares) at $17.00, the underwriters' brokerage customers had to
 agree to purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at progressively higher
 prices.  The requirement that customers make additional purchases at
 progressively higher prices as the price of MarketWatch.com stock rocketed
 upward (a practice known on Wall Street as "laddering") was intended to (and
 did) drive MarketWatch.com's share price up to artificially high levels.  This
 artificial price inflation, the complaint alleges, enabled both the
 underwriters and their customers to reap enormous profits by buying stock at
 the $17.00 IPO price and then selling it later for a profit at inflated
 aftermarket prices, which rose as high as $130.00 during its first day of
 trading.
     Rather than allowing their customers to keep their profits from the IPO,
 the complaint alleges, the underwriters required their customers to "kick
 back" some of their profits in the form of secret commissions.  These secret
 commission payments were sometimes calculated after the fact based on how much
 profit each investor had made from his or her IPO stock allocation.
     The complaint further alleges that defendants violated the Securities Act
 of 1933 because the Prospectus distributed to investors and the Registration
 Statement filed with the SEC in order to gain regulatory approval for the
 MarketWatch.com offering contained material misstatements regarding the
 commissions that the underwriters would derive from the IPO transaction and
 failed to disclose the additional commissions and "laddering" scheme discussed
 above.
     Christopher Lovell, the senior partner at Lovell & Stewart, has been
 appointed lead counsel or co-lead counsel in numerous significant class
 actions, including actions involving reportedly the largest class action
 recoveries in history under three separate federal statutes (the Sherman
 Antitrust Act, the Commodity Exchange Act, and the Investment Company Act of
 1940).  These record-breaking recoveries for class plaintiffs included the
 $1.027 billion recovery in In re: NASDAQ Market-Makers Antitrust Litigation
 and a $145.35 million recovery in 1999 in In re: Sumitomo Copper Litigation, a
 class action against various parties who conspired to manipulate the worldwide
 copper and copper futures markets for their own profit.
     Howard Sirota and the Sirota & Sirota firm have taken leadership roles in
 numerous high-profile and legally significant cases, including serving as
 Chairman of the Executive Committee of plaintiffs' attorneys in the landmark
 In re: Crazy Eddie Securities Litigation case ($93 million recovery for class,
 with additional payments from defendants expected in the future) and serving
 as a member of the Executive Committee in In re: Structural Dynamics Research
 Corporation ($37.5 million recovery).
     Investors who purchased MarketWatch.com common stock during the period
 January 15, 1999 through April 16, 2001 may contact Sirota & Sirota or Lovell
 & Stewart at the telephone numbers, addresses or E-mail addresses below for
 more information regarding the class action lawsuit.  Investors can also visit
 Sirota & Sirota's website at http://www.sirotalaw.com or Lovell & Stewart's
 website at http://www.lovellstewart.com to view a copy of the complaint.
 
 

SOURCE Sirota & Sirota, LLP and Lovell & Stewart, LLP
    NEW YORK, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The law firms of Sirota & Sirota, LLP
 ((212) 425-9055 or http://www.sirotalaw.com) and Lovell & Stewart, LLP
 ((212) 608-1900 or http://www.lovellstewart.com) filed a class action lawsuit
 on April 17, 2001 on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased,
 converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of
 MarketWatch.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:   MKTW) between January 15, 1999 and
 April 16, 2001, inclusive.  The lawsuit asserts claims under Sections 11, 12
 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
 Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated by the SEC
 thereunder and seeks to recover damages.   If you wish to serve as lead
 plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than June 17, 2001.
     The action, Laurence Bonilla v. MarketWatch.com, Inc., et al., is pending
 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (500 Pearl
 Street, New York, New York), Docket No. 01-CV-3225 (LLS) and has been assigned
 to the Hon. Louis L. Stanton, Senior U.S. District Judge.  The complaint
 alleges that MarketWatch.com, Inc., Larry S. Kramer, its Chairman and Chief
 Executive Officer and Directors James A. DePalma, Alan R. Hirschfield, Allan
 R. Tessler, Mark F. Imperiale, Andrew Heyward and Michael H. Jordan violated
 the federal securities laws by issuing and selling MarketWatch.com common
 stock pursuant to the January 15, 1999 IPO without disclosing to investors
 that some of the underwriters in the offering, including the lead
 underwriters, had solicited and received excessive and undisclosed commissions
 from certain investors.
     In exchange for the excessive commissions, the complaint alleges, lead
 underwriter Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. and underwriters BancBoston Robertson
 Stephens, Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation, The Goldman Sachs
 Group, Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Incorporated and Morgan
 Stanley Dean Witter & Co. allocated MarketWatch.com shares to customers at the
 IPO price of $17.00 per share.  To receive the allocations (i.e., the ability
 to purchase shares) at $17.00, the underwriters' brokerage customers had to
 agree to purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at progressively higher
 prices.  The requirement that customers make additional purchases at
 progressively higher prices as the price of MarketWatch.com stock rocketed
 upward (a practice known on Wall Street as "laddering") was intended to (and
 did) drive MarketWatch.com's share price up to artificially high levels.  This
 artificial price inflation, the complaint alleges, enabled both the
 underwriters and their customers to reap enormous profits by buying stock at
 the $17.00 IPO price and then selling it later for a profit at inflated
 aftermarket prices, which rose as high as $130.00 during its first day of
 trading.
     Rather than allowing their customers to keep their profits from the IPO,
 the complaint alleges, the underwriters required their customers to "kick
 back" some of their profits in the form of secret commissions.  These secret
 commission payments were sometimes calculated after the fact based on how much
 profit each investor had made from his or her IPO stock allocation.
     The complaint further alleges that defendants violated the Securities Act
 of 1933 because the Prospectus distributed to investors and the Registration
 Statement filed with the SEC in order to gain regulatory approval for the
 MarketWatch.com offering contained material misstatements regarding the
 commissions that the underwriters would derive from the IPO transaction and
 failed to disclose the additional commissions and "laddering" scheme discussed
 above.
     Christopher Lovell, the senior partner at Lovell & Stewart, has been
 appointed lead counsel or co-lead counsel in numerous significant class
 actions, including actions involving reportedly the largest class action
 recoveries in history under three separate federal statutes (the Sherman
 Antitrust Act, the Commodity Exchange Act, and the Investment Company Act of
 1940).  These record-breaking recoveries for class plaintiffs included the
 $1.027 billion recovery in In re: NASDAQ Market-Makers Antitrust Litigation
 and a $145.35 million recovery in 1999 in In re: Sumitomo Copper Litigation, a
 class action against various parties who conspired to manipulate the worldwide
 copper and copper futures markets for their own profit.
     Howard Sirota and the Sirota & Sirota firm have taken leadership roles in
 numerous high-profile and legally significant cases, including serving as
 Chairman of the Executive Committee of plaintiffs' attorneys in the landmark
 In re: Crazy Eddie Securities Litigation case ($93 million recovery for class,
 with additional payments from defendants expected in the future) and serving
 as a member of the Executive Committee in In re: Structural Dynamics Research
 Corporation ($37.5 million recovery).
     Investors who purchased MarketWatch.com common stock during the period
 January 15, 1999 through April 16, 2001 may contact Sirota & Sirota or Lovell
 & Stewart at the telephone numbers, addresses or E-mail addresses below for
 more information regarding the class action lawsuit.  Investors can also visit
 Sirota & Sirota's website at http://www.sirotalaw.com or Lovell & Stewart's
 website at http://www.lovellstewart.com to view a copy of the complaint.
 
 SOURCE  Sirota & Sirota, LLP and Lovell & Stewart, LLP