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Tile Shop (NASDAQ: TTS) was one of the market's biggest losers on Thursday, dropping nearly 39% to close at $12.95 a share. The stock sank after news broke that the specialty tile retailer allegedly inflated its fiscal 2013 earnings. Investment company Gotham Research publicly released a report today that claims Tile Shop pumped up earnings by as much as 200% this year by buying goods at cost from one of its largest suppliers.
The company in question is China-based Beijing Pingxiu, which according to reports is controlled by Fumitake Nishi, the brother-in-law of Tile Shop CEO Robert Rucker. If the family affair is true, Tile Shop would likely be forced to restate historical earnings results.
Tile Shop responded to the allegation after the market closed on Thursday, saying in a press release that the company "adamantly denies these allegations and believes that the financial statements are properly stated and its business practices are appropriate." However, the Tile Shop also specified that it has since "suspended its relationship" with Beijing Pingxiu, and will continue to investigate this situation going forward. Shares of Tile Shop current have a short interest of more than 8%, according to Finviz.