Prior to Wednesday's earnings, Wrede, one of the few analysts maintaining coverage on Diamond Foods, detailed eight things to watch for in the company's earnings data dump.
Of most concern was be whether restatements will be in line with initial disclosures made by Diamond Foods's board, which they were. Diamond Foods indicated in February it would have to increase its 2011 costs of goods sold by $40 million and 2010 figures by $20 million - however restatements of $39.4 million and $17 million were less than initial forecasts.
Diamond Foods should also have a detailed explanation of the root cause of its accounting issues, Wrede noted. In a follow-up, the analyst seemed disappointed on that front. "DMND today did not provide any incremental details on the cause for the restatement but assured investors that the necessary steps were taken to prevent a repeat," Wrede wrote, in a note released on Thursday.
Wrede also highlighted clarity on when Diamond Foods will report fourth quarter 2012 earnings and those for the first quarter of 2013. Management did not provide an update on future earnings and, according to Wrede's understanding, the company has to file results by mid-December.On the disappointing side, the company was unable to meet walnut volume thresholds to cancel Oaktree's warrants, raising the prospect of shareholder dilution. Other issues Wrede highlighted were clarity on the company's future cost structure in its walnut and snacks businesses, and detail on the strength of its balance sheet given the prospect of shareholder lawsuits -- concerns left largely unaddressed in earnings. While Diamond Foods appointed new board members, it did not disclose whether it has found a permanent CFO or give investors a sense of whether it will replace restructuring specialists who have taken the reins of the company with permanent executives. Diamond Foods troubles began in February when an audit committee review of its finances found significant accounting inconsistencies for its walnut supplies, forcing the immediate suspension of its CEO Michael Mendes and CFO Steven Neil. The review also cast doubt on the accuracy of two years' worth of earnings statements, and delayed three quarters of earnings filings. For more on Diamond Foods, see how it choked on Pringles. -- Written by Antoine Gara in New York
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