Several companies reported

SEC

investigations at various stages of progress, among them

Veritas Software

(VRTS) - Get Report

, which was subpoenaed in connection with a probe of

AOL-Time Warner

(AOL)

.

The SEC is looking for information about two Veritas transactions in 2000, one a $50 million software sale it made to AOL Time Warner, the other a $20 million ad sale by AOL to Veritas. The agency subpoenaed Veritas's records in August and the company disclosed the probe in a quarterly filing.

Veritas said is reviewing the transactions to see if any restatements are necessary, a revelation that is behind an 11% plunge in its stock Friday to $16.24. The company said it recognized $37 million of the $50 million software sale to AOL during the final quarter of 2000 and was recording the rest over a three-year period. It spread the $20 million advertising expense over five quarters ending in December 2001, according to the company's quarterly filing.

AOL recently restated $190 million in prior-years' revenue amid the government probe, which hasn't been confined to Veritas. Its shares were off about 1% to $15.08.

Flattened Third

Meanwhile,

Fifth Third Bancorp

(FITB) - Get Report

was falling after disclosing an SEC probe into the way it booked a charge in the third quarter. The company said its financial controls are also under investigation and until the issue is resolved the

Fed

is going to prohibit it from carrying out any more acquisitions. The shares were down 8.4% to $57.26

Fifth Third disclosed an $84 million charge in its third-quarter earnings report related to its acquisition of Old Kent Financial. It's currently in the process of acquiring

Franklin Financial

(FNFN)

.

Delayed Aggravation

Also disclosing an SEC inquiry was

Gateway

(GTW)

, whose shares were down 10.5% to $3.75. The computer maker said in a quarterly filing that has been providing the SEC with information in connection with its 2000 financial results, which evidently is when the inquiry began.

Gateway said it is unable to predict what the probe will find, although it does think it will end by the first quarter of 2003. Gateway restated its 2000 earnings in February 2001.

Hanover Compressor

(HC)

has had more than its share of trouble over the last year after questions arose about its accounting and it thrice restated results. The company disclosed a formal SEC probe in its quarterly financial report Thursday, but noted the agency has been satisfied with its cooperation and acknowledged the firm's efforts to resolve the issues. The company's shares were downgraded to underweight from overweight by J.P. Morgan Friday, but they're currently up 6 cents to $10.06.