In this Monday, April 27, 2020. file photo, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess wears a face mask as he attends the restart of the production at the VW headquarters plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is gradually launch the production at important plants after the corona lockdown. (Swen Pfoertner/dpa via AP)
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen said charges of securities-law violations against its CEO and board chairman are to be dropped in return for a 9 million-euro ($10 million) payment, removing a potential distraction for the company's management team as it copes with the virus crisis and oversees the rollout of a new generation of electric cars.
CEO Herbert Diess and Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch were charged in September with failing to tell investors in time about the company's looming diesel scandal in 2015. The end of the case through the payment, allowed by German law, means the two do not admit wrongdoing and will not have to appear for multiple court sessions as part of a trial.
Prosecutors said the two violated securities laws that require companies to notify investors about matters that could affect the price of their shares. The company said it had met its disclosure requirements ahead of the announcement of a notice of violation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 18, 2015.
The end of the case against Diess and Poetsch does not stop other investor complaints against the company currently before a court in Braunschweig, Germany.
The company said “it is in the best interest of the company for the proceedings to be terminated” and that it would indemnify Diess and Poetsch with respect to paying a fine of 4.5 million euros each.
Volkswagen was caught using software to evade U.S. emissions requirements for diesel cars. The scandal cost the company 31 billion euros ($34 billion) in fines and settlements.
20 Stocks Wall Street Analysts Love the Most
Every trading day, between 500 and 800 new recommendations and research reports are issued by sell-side equities research analysts. There are between 300 and 500 brokerages and research houses that issue ratings, price targets and recommendations and more than 5,000 securities around the world that regularly receive coverage from research analysts.
MarketBeat has tracked more than 170,000 distinct analyst recommendations in the last 12 months alone. Given the volume of ratings changes that occur each day, it can be difficult to sift through the noise.
Analysts don't always get their "buy" ratings right, but it's worth taking a hard look when more than a dozen different analysts from different brokerages and research firm are giving "strong buy" and "buy" ratings to the same stock.
This slide show lists the 20 companies that have the highest average analyst recommendations from Wall Street's equities research analysts over the last 12 months.
View the "20 Stocks Wall Street Analysts Love the Most".