(Recasts, adds detail, SAN FRANCISCO dateline)
SAN FRANCISCO Oct 13 Online retailer
Overstock.com Inc (OSTK.O) said on Monday it settled all claims
against research firm Gradient Analytics, and its stock rose.
It said terms of the agreement were confidential.
A 2005 lawsuit brought by Overstock had accused Gradient of
conspiring with hedge fund Rocker Partners, now known as Copper
River Partners, to write negative research reports and drive
down its stock price.
Gradient countersued, saying that Overstock Chief Executive
Patrick Byrne had libeled the research firm in public remarks.
Gradient issued a statement on Monday saying that its
earlier statements about the quality of Overstock's earnings
and the independence of its directors were false.
"Gradient now believes that, to the best of its knowledge,
Overstock's stated accounting policies did in fact conform with
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and regrets any
prior statements to the contrary," Gradient said.
It added that it found that Overstock directors Allison
Abraham, John Fisher and Gordon Macklin to be independent, and
issued an apology to Macklin.
Shares of Overstock were up 64 cents or 4.4 percent to
$15.18 in early afternoon trade.
(Reporting by Alexandria Sage, editing by Gerald E.