Shares of Bed, Bath & Beyond are plunging in pre-market trading this morning after the week's report that the company's Chief Financial Officer was identified as a man who lept to his death from a Tribeca building last Friday.
Shares are down about $1.30, or roughly 15%, to $7.35 as of 0730 EST.
52 year old CFO Gustavo Arnal's death was officially ruled a suicide on Monday, according to Reuters. He officially died from "multiple" blunt force trauma, according to the New York City Medical Examiner's Office.
The Reuters report noted that Arnal was sued on August 23 "over accusations of artificially inflating the firm's stock price in a 'pump and dump' scheme, with the lawsuit alleging Arnal sold off his shares at a higher price after the scheme."
Recall, we wrote this weekend that Arnal fell from the 18th floor of 56 Leonard Street on Friday and was identified on Sunday morning by the New York Post. The Post noted he had just sold 42,513 shares of stock on August 16, netting a little over $1 million.
In 2021, Arnal's total compensation was more than $2.9 million, which included $775,000 in salary. He joined the company in 2020 after stints working as chief financial officer for Avon and as an executive for Procter & Gamble, the report notes.
Bed, Bath & Beyond had been on a roller coaster ride over the last month, which shares running up to as high as $28 per share just days ago on a "meme stock" rally. It then saw investor Ryan Cohen exit his position in the company, sending shares plunging.
In the days following, the company announced plans to try and reduce costs and stave off bankruptcy, including a $500 million financing agreement in order to help pay its vendors. It released a statement about its strategic and business updates that will result in store closures and a reduction of its workforce. Its plan includes closing approximately 150 lower-producing banner stores and a reduction of 20% of its workforce.
But the measures didn't convince the street. As we wrote on August 31, we spoke with at least one institutional trading desk specializing in consumer discretionary who said they've all but given up on Bed Bath & Beyond and left the 'meme stock' for the 'apes.'
Subsequently, both the company's debt and equity were downgraded.