shareholders will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on some reliable numbers.
The troubled Denver telco said late Tuesday that it had received waivers from its lenders that will permit Qwest to file finanical reports by Nov. 30 in one case and Dec. 31 in another. The waivers give the company more time to produce accurate financials, which had been due Sept. 30. Qwest is in the process of restating its numbers since the 2000 fiscal year as a result of billions of dollars' worth of accounting missteps that took place under previous management.
Qwest and its auditors have so far found $2.2 billion in overstated revenue dating back to the aggressive sales and accounting of former CEO Joe Nacchio's administration. The company is working with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
as well as two branches of the Justice Department on several civil and criminal investigations.
Obviously, the legal issues seem to revolve primarily around several individuals no longer with the company, but Qwest still needs to be cleared of any wrongdoing if it hopes to have access again to the capital markets. And Qwest needs funding: The company faces debt maturities of over $16 billion in 2008 and beyond, and analysts say it will need continued access to the markets to meet those obligations.
"We are pleased with the continued support of our banks and lenders during the process of completing our financial statements," said CFO Oren G. Shaffer.
On Tuesday, Qwest fell 12 cents, to $3.75.