October 13, 2008 / 5:19 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Overstock says settled claims against Gradient

(Recasts, adds detail, SAN FRANCISCO dateline)

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - 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. McCormick)

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