Why Amira Nature Foods Ltd. Shares Jumped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Amira Nature Foods  (NYSE: ANFI  ) were looking healthier today, gaining as much as 11% after the company named a new chief financial officer last night.

So what: The maker of natural foods products announced that Bruce Wacha will take over as CFO on June 2. Wacha most recently served as a strategic adviser to Amira at Deutsche Bank, where he was previously a director in its global consumer group. Amira stock has been highly volatile in recent months as some short-sellers have accused it of fraud and nearly half of the company's shares have been sold short.

Now what: Amira has had its share of trouble. India's Commerce Ministry blacklisted it and two other companies for violating a rice export ban in 2008-09, though no criminal wrongdoing was found. A short-seller group, Arihaan Capital, has also attacked the company on several occasions, accusing it of misstatements in its SEC filings and failure to disclose a related third party, among other claims. None of its claims against Amira have been proven, however. Amira's volatility stems from being pushed by short-sellers and momentum traders, and it likely accounts for part of today's wild swing. However, investors also seem to be hoping that Wacha will help ease the fraud concerns. We should hear more from the company about these matters when Amira reports earnings sometime in June.

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