Symbol Technologies' (SBL) shares tumbled 7% Monday after accounting missteps tripped up the company once again.
The Holtsville, N.Y., bar-code tech shop will delay by two weeks the filing of its third-quarter report with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
. The company blamed two inventory reporting errors that it discovered during an internal review.
As a result of the bookkeeping blunders, Symbol restated its numbers for the first nine months of the year. The new figures reflect a 2-cent profit cut and a $13.3 million sales reduction. The company says most of the errors occurred in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, but it may have to restate its previous 2004 quarterly financial reports as well.
Symbol shares dropped $1.11 to $14.09 in premarket trading Monday.
Symbol says the errors took place at a distributor partner and at a distribution center it owns.
"We've moved swiftly to ascertain the nature and extent of these discrepancies. We are in the process of determining whether any amendment to our previously filed SEC quarterly reports is necessary," CEO Bill Nuti said in a press release. "Symbol is committed to ensuring that its financial statements are accurate and can be relied upon by our shareholders.
Last month, it appeared that Symbol had just
closed a chapter on an era of scandal when the company settled a shareholder lawsuit for $98 million. Also, back in June the company settled a fraud investigation by the SEC for $37 million.
The government had charged former executives, including ex-CEO Tomo Razmilovic and former finance chief Ken Jaeggi, with taking part in a massive accounting fraud that inflated reported earnings by hundreds of millions of dollars.
The SEC's complaint alleged that from at least 1998 until early 2003, Symbol and the former execs engaged in "numerous fraudulent accounting practices and other misconduct" that had a cumulative net impact of more than $230 million on Symbol's reported revenue.
Last year, two former executives, Bob Asti and Bob Korkuc, pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges.
Korkuc, the company's former chief accounting officer, admitted last year that he schemed with other top executives to inflate the company's earnings to meet Wall Street estimates.