Booz Allen Hamilton shares slip after NSA leaker says he works there

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Shares of Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. fell on Monday, after the company’s employee, Edward Snowden, stepped forward as the person who last week leaked information about secret government surveillance programs to several news media outlets.

Shares fell 46 cents, or 2.6 per cent, to close at $17.54 Monday, a slight recovery from a 5 per cent drop earlier in the session. That’s closer to the high end of the stock’s 52-week trading range of $11.85 to $19.23.

In a statement Sunday, the McLean, Va.-based company said it has employed Snowden for less than three months on a team in Hawaii. It added that it is working with clients and authorities to investigate the leaks.

“News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm,” the statement said.

Booz Allen Hamilton is a consultant to government and corporate clients. About 23 per cent of its revenue, or $1.3 billion, came from U.S. intelligence agencies last year. The company has said in SEC filings that security breaches could materially hurt results.

Private equity firm The Carlyle Group took the company public in 2010 and owns 67 per cent of the stock.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst William Loomis said in a note to investors that the incident is “embarrassing” for Booz Allen, but not likely to have a lasting impact, since it was just one employee who was employed there only briefly.

He kept a “Hold” rating on the stock.