Protecting Argan’s Assets and Opportunities
Protecting and safeguarding Argan’s assets, including tangible and intangible property, is critical to Argan’s success. We have a duty to use those assets for legitimate business purposes only, to protect them from loss or unauthorized use and to keep them confidential as appropriate. In no event may Argan assets be used for unlawful or improper purposes. Every employee has a responsibility to protect the Company’s assets. Theft, misuse and waste of assets have an impact on Argan’s profitability. Theft, embezzlement or misappropriation of Argan property by any employee is prohibited. Argan equipment should not be used for non-Company business.
The obligation of employees to protect Argan’s assets includes its proprietary information, such as trade secrets, patents, trademarks, business and marketing plans, engineering and manufacturing ideas and unpublished financial data. Unauthorized use or distribution of proprietary information is a violation of Argan policy. Argan also is subject to applicable data privacy laws that apply to data and personal financial information Argan may maintain regarding its customers or employees, including, for example, the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Employees with access to such information are required to follow all applicable Argan policies and practices with respect to the processing, storage and use of such data.
Finance and Accounting Practices
It is a legal requirement that, as a public company, Argan adheres to strict accounting principles and standards of reporting. Financial information must be accurate and complete, and there must be internal controls and processes to comply with these accounting and financial reporting laws. These laws require the proper recording of, and accounting for, revenues and expenses. If an employee has responsibility or any involvement in these areas, they must understand and adhere to these rules. Also, these rules prohibit anyone from assisting others to engage in improper accounting practices or make false or misleading financial reports.
Violations of laws associated with accounting and financial reporting can result in fines, penalties, and even imprisonment, and can lead to loss of public faith in a company. If you become aware of any action related to accounting or financial reporting that you believe may be improper, you should immediately report it to your manager, the Vice President of Finance or by contacting the Hot Line.
Argan employees are encouraged to take an active interest in political and government activities and to support principles, issues, parties or candidates of their own choice. Such activity must remain separate and distinct from employment with Argan.
Argan policy goes beyond federal law, which prohibits the use of Company funds, assets, services or facilities on behalf of a federal political party or candidate except under limited circumstances. Our policy is that no Argan assets — including monetary payments, employees’ work time, use of Argan premises or equipment — may be contributed to any political candidate, political action committee, party, or ballot measure without the written permission of the Chief Financial Officer of Argan. An Argan employee will not be compensated or reimbursed, in any form, for a political contribution that the person has made.
Preservation of Certain Records
For business, accounting and legal reasons our Company records must be properly managed. We create, retain and dispose of our business records and information assets, both written and electronic, as part of our normal course of business in compliance with applicable regulatory and legal requirements. Information defined as essential must be retained in a recoverable format for as long as it remains essential. Information that is no longer essential should be disposed of as soon as possible. For questions regarding what is essential information, contact the Vice President of Finance.
In no case may business records or documents involved in a pending or threatened litigation, government inquiry or under subpoena or other information request, be discarded or destroyed. In addition, you may never destroy, alter, or conceal, with an improper purpose, any record or otherwise impede any official proceeding, either personally, in conjunction with, or by attempting to influence, another person. You are required to cooperate fully with legal counsel retained in the course of a lawsuit, legal proceeding or investigation.
Argan has developed and continues to develop and use commercially valuable confidential and/or proprietary technical and non-technical information. Confidential information includes a wide range of non-public information including but not limited to financial and cost data, business plans and strategies, operating reports, pricing information, marketing and sales data, business partner information, proprietary information, personnel records and organization charts. Appropriate security measures to protect confidential information from improper disclosure should be taken seriously by all employees.
Employees must maintain the confidentiality of such information. You may not, directly or indirectly, disclose, or use for the benefit of yourself or any other person, any of our confidential or proprietary information.
Federal law also restricts the manner in which Argan releases material information to the media, security analysts and stockholders. Argan has an obligation to accurately and completely convey all material facts when speaking publicly. In order to ensure that Argan complies with its obligations, employees receiving inquiries regarding material Company information or Argan’s position on public issues should refer the request to the Corporate headquarters at Argan, Inc., One Church Street, Suite 201, Rockville, MD 20850 or call 301-315-0027.
Federal law prohibits insiders from trading securities while in possession of material non-public information. Argan’s policy also prohibits such trading. Any employee who is aware of material non-public information related to Argan, or to firms which are suppliers or customers of Argan, may not buy or sell common stock of Argan or such other company. You may not disclose such information to any person outside Argan until it has been made public. You cannot “tip” others. Securities trading by your family members, household members or those with whom you have a close, personal relationship can, under some circumstances, result in legal liability to you.
Material information is any information that a reasonable investor would consider important in deciding whether to buy or sell common stock. This includes information about possible acquisitions or divestitures, earnings, new contracts or products, expansion plans and other important corporate developments that have not been publicly disclosed. You should refer to the Argan Insider Trading Policy if you have any questions concerning your buying or selling of Argan common stock.
Many senior-level Argan employees are subject to special rules on insider trading. Unless otherwise advised, these employees can only buy or sell Argan common stock during limited periods following the release of quarterly or annual earnings information. Such “window” periods are open two days after, the earliest of, any quarterly or annual reporting period press release or SEC filing, but 30 days before the close of a quarterly or annual reporting period. Refer to Argan’s Insider Trading Policy for further information.