Kraft Heinz (KHC - Get Report) said Monday it would restate its financial results for 2016 and 2017 following an investigation into accounting practices at the packaged food group, but said the changes wouldn't be "material" and would likely amount to less than $210 million.
Kraft said the probe found that "several" of its employees in the procurement area of the group had engaged in misconduct linked to the recognition of costs and rebates, but added that senior management wasn't involved. The adjustments clipped around 10 cents per share from Kraft Heinz's earnings over a period of just under three years, the company said, and will mean its fiscal fourth quarter report, for the three months ending in March, will be delayed.
"Following the Company's Earnings Release issued on February 21, 2019, which disclosed the results of its interim goodwill and intangible asset impairment testing as of December 29, 2018, the Company received an additional subpoena from the SEC on March 1, 2019 associated with its assessment of goodwill and intangible asset impairment sand related matters," Kraft Heinz said. "And this subpoena also included document requests related to the procurement area."
"The Company cannot predict the eventual scope, duration, or outcome of any potential SEC investigation or whether it could have a material impact on the financial condition, results of operations, or cash flow of the Company," Kraft Heinz added. "The Company has been responsive to the ongoing document requests, and as noted above, will continue to cooperate fully with the SEC."
Kraft shares were little changed at the start of trading Monday following the mis-statement disclosure and changing hands at $32.46 each, a move that would peg the stock's year-to-date decline at around 24.5%.
Over the weekend, Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A investment group owns around 26.7% of Kraft Heinz and took a $3 billion goodwill writedown on the holding earlier this year, said he wasn't able to book anything from the stake in Berkshire's first quarter earnings report owing to the delay in Kraft filing its 10-k with the SEC.
"It's pretty unusual. It means we put in zero for earnings even though we received $130 million in dividends but we don't count that in earnings because it's an equity type of investment, " Buffett told reporters during Berkshire's annual general meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.