ComScore Needs More Time to Review Data Collected in Audit

  • Entertainment research firm has delayed filing annual report
  • Telsey downgrades stock; was hoping for more ‘informed update’

ComScore Inc., which has delayed the filing of its annual report to regulators because of an accounting review, said its audit committee and board need more time to evaluate the data collected and make final decisions.

“In the meantime, the company’s management and independent public accounting firm have commenced work to review the information collected so that the company is in a position to file its Forms 10-K and 10-Q as soon as reasonably practicable,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

The shares sank 23 percent to $22.71 at 9:30 a.m. in New York, hitting a three-year intraday low.

Telsey Advisory Group analyst Thomas Eagan downgraded his recommendation on ComScore to market perform from outperform, saying he was expecting a more “informed update” from ComScore and that the company is “farther away” from resolving its accounting issues than Telsey had anticipated.

The internet and entertainment industry research firm saw its stock plunge earlier this year after disclosing that its audit committee received a message regarding the company’s accounting. ComScore began a review of the matter, delayed filing the year-end financial results and canceled an investor event scheduled for March 16.

The company’s audit committee continues to “work vigorously” to complete the review and report findings to the board, ComScore said in the filing. An independent counsel and advisers to the audit committee have completed a “substantial amount” of their factual inquiries to address the audit committee’s review, it added.

In February, ComScore acquired Rentrak in a stock swap valued at more than $800 million. Since then the shares have fallen 25 percent.

The Reston, Virginia-based company tracks online viewership for websites and box-office performance of Hollywood films, among other services.

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