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Oki Electric Shares Plunge on Spain Accounting Woes: Tokyo Mover

Oki Electric Industry Co. President Hideichi Kawasaki
Oki Electric Industry Co.’s full-year earnings forecasts may be revised and its past financial reports could be corrected after an outside panel draws up a report, President Hideichi Kawasaki told reporters yesterday without specifying a time period. Source: Kyodo via AP

Oki Electric Industry Co. shares plunged the most in at least 37 years in Tokyo after the company said its Spain unit overstated accounts and it will miss the deadline for filing financial reports, prompting the Tokyo bourse to put the company on watch for possible delisting.

The stock plunged 34 percent, the most since at least September 1974, to 81 yen. It was the biggest percentage loser on Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average, which added 1.1 percent.

Oki Systems Iberica, based in Madrid, overstated the accounts and that may trim earnings by about 8 billion yen ($102 million), the Japanese maker of automated teller machines said in a statement yesterday. Oki Electric, whose customers include International Business Machines Corp., won’t be able to submit financial reports for the period ended June 30 until about Sept. 14, it said, a month later than the due date.

“Investors may be seeing possibilities that the improper accounting could spill out to cause a bigger impact than what the company estimates,” Masamitsu Ohki, a fund manager at Tokyo-based Stats Investment Management Co., said by phone today. “Olympus’ fraud had a big impact on the company’s stock and that is still remembered. Investors tend to worry that this may cause bigger consequences.”

The company’s full-year earnings forecasts may be revised and its past financial reports could be corrected after an outside panel draws up a report, President Hideichi Kawasaki told reporters yesterday without specifying a time period. Olympus Corp., which last year admitted to financial irregularities, was fined by the Tokyo exchange and allowed to keep its listing after being put on the watchlist.

Dropped Coverage

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. dropped its rating of Oki Electric, citing its lack of ability to judge financials.

“The announcement comes as a surprise and we expect the stock to react negatively,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Ikuo Matsuhashi said in a report dated today. He reiterated his neutral rating on the stock, saying Oki’s enterprise value won’t be affected if the case is an isolated incident.

Oki’s full-year net income is estimated to be 11.4 billion yen for the year ending in March, according to the average of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“We will disclose the effect of the inappropriate accounting on earnings once an estimate is made,” Kawasaki said. “It’s highly possible that an individual was involved and there probably isn’t a companywide misconduct.”

Supervision List

Oki Electric was the best performer on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average, with a 77 percent as of yesterday’s close since beginning of the year. The company makes ATMs, PCs, semiconductors and telecommunications equipment for the aviation industry, and its customers include IBM and Staples Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Tokyo exchange placed the stock on its supervision list because the company is expected to miss the submission deadline of Aug. 14 for its quarterly report, the bourse said on its website. Net income will probably total 11 billion yen for the year started April 1, Oki said in May.

The bourse fined Olympus, the world’s biggest maker of endoscopes, 10 million yen in January and allowed it to keep its listing after an accounting fraud cut the company’s market value by about $4 billion.

Japanese companies previously delisted for fabricating earnings statements include Livedoor Co., Seibu Railway Co. and Kanebo Ltd., according to the bourse’s website.

IHI Corp., a Japanese maker of heavy machinery, was put on the alert list in 2008, becoming the first Japanese company to be placed in the category, after misstating earnings and underestimating costs on engineering and plant projects.

The new rule was created after Nikko Cordial Corp., a Japanese securities brokerage, was allowed to keep its stock market listing following an accounting scandal in 2007.

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