Oki Electric Industry Co. shares plunged the most in at least 37 years in Tokyo after the company said its Spain unit overstated accounts and it will miss the deadline for filing financial reports, prompting the Tokyo bourse to put the company on watch for possible delisting.
The stock plunged as much as 41 percent, the most since at least Sept. 11, 1974, to ¥72. The shares ended at ¥79 at the day’s closing at 3 p.m.
Oki Systems Iberica, based in Madrid, overstated the accounts, which may trim earnings by about ¥8 billion ($102 million), the maker of automated teller machines said in a statement Wednesday.
Oki Electric, whose customers include International Business Machines Corp., won’t be able to submit financial reports for the period that ended June 30 until about Sept. 14, a month later than the due date, it said.
“Investors may be seeing possibilities that the improper accounting could spill out to cause a bigger impact than what the company estimates,” Masamitsu Ohki, a fund manager at Tokyo-based Stats Investment Management Co., said Thursday. “(The) Olympus’ fraud had a big impact on the company’s stock, and that is still remembered. Investors tend to worry that this may cause bigger consequences.”
The company’s full-year earnings forecasts may be revised and its past financial reports could be corrected after an outside panel draws up a report, President Hideichi Kawasaki told reporters Wednesday without specifying a time period. Olympus Corp., which last year admitted to financial irregularities, was fined by the Tokyo exchange and allowed to keep its listing after being put on the watchlist.
“We will disclose the effect of the inappropriate accounting on earnings once an estimate is made,” Kawasaki said. “It’s highly possible that an individual was involved and there probably isn’t companywide misconduct.”
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. dropped its rating of Oki Electric, citing its lack of ability to judge financials.
“The announcement comes as a surprise and we expect the stock to react negatively,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Ikuo Matsuhashi said in a report dated Thursday. He repeated his neutral rating on the stock, saying Oki’s enterprise value won’t be affected if the case is an isolated incident.
Oki’s full-year net income is estimated to be ¥11.4 billion for the year ending in March, according to the average of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
“We will disclose the effect of the inappropriate accounting on earnings once an estimate is made,” Kawasaki said.
Oki Electric has been the best performer on the Nikkei 225 stock index since beginning of the year, as of Wednesday’s close. The company makes ATMs, PCs, semiconductors and telecommunications equipment for the aviation industry, and its customers include IBM and Staples Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Tokyo Stock Exchange fined Olympus, the world’s biggest maker of endoscopes, ¥10 million in January and allowed it to keep its listing after a major accounting fraud from the bubble era slashed the company’s market value by about $4 billion.
Japanese companies previously delisted for fabricating earnings statements include Livedoor Co., Seibu Railway Co. and Kanebo Ltd., according to the bourse’s website, but not Nikko Cordial Securities Inc.
IHI Corp., a maker of heavy machinery, was put on the alert list in 2008, becoming the first domestic firm placed in the category, after misstating earnings and underestimating costs on engineering and plant projects.
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