Toshiba Corp (TOSYY) shares booked modest gains Tuesday after the conglomerate said it would "aggressively" look at strategic options for its struggling Westinghouse unit in the United States as it sought a second delay in filing its fiscal third quarter earnings.
Toshiba stopped short of saying it would seeking a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing for Westinghouse, but nonetheless vowed to "aggressively consider strategic options" for the nuclear division that has cost the group more than $6.2 billion in goodwill writedowns in a statement to regulators.
Tokyo Stock Exchange officials granted Toshiba's request to delay the filing of its third quarter earnings until April 11, although the stock is now deemed a "Securities Under Supervision" and could be de-listed if the filing is not made on time.
In an effort to reassure investors, however, Toshiba said Tuesday that expects to see an operating profit of ¥210 billion ($1.8 billion) in the fiscal year ending in March 2019 (corporate fiscal years typically begin on April 1) but cautioned that its full-year loss in the year ending in March 2017 would be €410 billion. Toshiba has previously said it would explore the sale of key assets, including all of its prized flash memory chip operation, which could be worth as much as $10 billion, to compensate shareholders.
Toshiba closed 0.47% higher in Tokyo at ¥215.90 each after rallying from an 8% decline once it received approval for the filing extension. However, the stock has fallen more than 53% over the past three months.
A decision on Westinghouse's future has been complicated by disagreement among Toshiba's creditors over the best way to handle a restructuring of the unit.
Proponents of a Chapter 11 filing argue it would clarify Toshiba's liabilities and allow for restructuring of the parent to proceed and for the possible sale of Westinghouse. Opponents say court protection could force an already weakened Toshiba to repay liabilities linked to Westinghouse, exacerbating the financial crisis at the parent.
Toshiba is the guarantor on contingent liabilities at Westinghouse that were valued at ¥793.5 billion at the end of March. The U.S. government will also be taking a keen interest in the fate of Westinghouse due to its role as a guarantor of $8.3 billion of loans on Westinghouse's construction projects.