Toshiba Corp. (TOSYY) closed at a six-week high Thursday after the troubled conglomerate had its delayed annual report signed-off by auditors in a move that will, for the moment at least, keep the group's shares listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Toshiba's auditor, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Aarata LLC, issued what is known as a "qualified opinion" on the full fiscal year, which ended in March, but added an "adverse opinion" on its internal controls and criticised the timing and method in which Toshiba booked losses linked to its now bankrupt U.S. nuclear division, Westinghouse.
Had Toshiba booked the losses in its previous fiscal year, which ended in March 2016, it would have recorded two consecutive years of so-called 'negative net worth', and would have been kicked off the TSE.
Toshiba was, however demoted from Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index as of the first of this month, capping one of the most humiliating declines in the country's corporate history, and was replaced by Seiko Epson Corp. (SEKEY) , which specializes in printers, scanners and liquid crystal projectors.
Toshiba shares gained 1.03% in Tokyo Thursday to close at ¥293 each, the highest since June 27, but have lost more than 35% of their market value since announcing a bigger-than-expected $3.4 billion loss from Westinghouse, the now-bankrupt nuclear power facility builder, in late January, that ultimately ballooned to $6.3 billion.
The group's ill-fated efforts to raise cash by selling its priszed flash memory unit, which could fetch as much as $20 billion, have been thwarted by an ongoing legal dispute with one of its former chipmaking partners, Western Digital Corp. WDC.
Late last month, Toshiba agreed to give Western Digital notice of any sale after the San Jose, CA-based group challenged the process in San Francisco Superior Court.
Toshiba is hoping to sell the division, which is the world's biggest maker of NAND flash memory chips, to a Bain Capital LLC-led group backed by South Korean chip maker SK Hynix Inc. and Japanese state-supported investors Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and Development Bank of Japan.
The bitter dispute between the memory unit partners has rattled the state backers of that bid, which last month asked that Toshiba include a clause making the deal contingent on the resolution of the conflict with Western Digital.
Toshiba is reported to have responded by re-opening talks with other possible buyers, including a consortium of Western Digital and KKR & Co. LP and a rival offer headed by Taiwan's Foxconn.
More of What's Trending on TheStreet: