SHAREHOLDERS SUE FEDERAL EXPRESS IN WAKE OF STOCK DECLINE

SHAREHOLDERS SUE FEDERAL EXPRESS IN WAKE OF STOCK DECLINE

Two shareholder lawsuits against Federal Express Corp., both spurred by the recent decline of the company's stock, have been filed in U.S. District Court here in the the past week.

A class action suit was filed on behalf of Leon Frey of Rockville Center, N.Y., for all people who bought shares between Feb. 8 and May 21.An earlier suit, filed by shareholder Sheldon Shore, represents those who bought stock between March 19 and May 21. The suits, brought against the company and Frederick W. Smith, chairman, claim the shareholders were defrauded by misleading statements about the company's performance.

The suits claim both shareholders bought Federal Express stock this year at artificially inflated prices and suffered when the price fell nearly 10 percent on May 22.

A Federal Express representative said the company hasn't seen the lawsuit and needed to review it before commenting.

The complaint also alleges the company's earnings have been on a downward slide since its third quarter of 1988. The suit claimed that Mr. Smith minimized the company's problems, which allegedly stemmed from the $1 billion acquisition of Tiger International Inc.