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said Wednesday night that it will fall short of its previous earnings guidance and delay the release of its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results in order to review its derivatives accounting.

The news sent shares of the auto lender down $1.89, or 24%, to $5.91 in

New York Stock Exchange

trading Thursday morning.

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The company said the results for the quarter and fiscal year ended June 30 will now be reported on or before Aug. 29. The conference call scheduled for this morning was also postponed.

"We are disappointed in this delay, but need more time to review these complex accounting issues and estimates before reporting our results," Clifton Morris, CEO of AmeriCredit, said in a press release. "However, the delay will have no effect on our current operating strategy."

The company also said it will likely miss its prior fiscal 2003 earnings estimate of $60 million to $70 million because it expects to record an impairment of certain credit-enhancement assets.

Additionally, AmeriCredit withdrew its guidance for the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2003, but will offer new projections when it reports its operating results.

For an analysis of AmeriCredit's announcement, please click here to read a column from Peter Eavis on