Toshiba Drops on Reports of Nuclear Unit’s $4.3 Billion Lossby
Nikkei, NHK report charges related to Westinghouse acquisition
Writedowns would be more than company’s projected profit
Toshiba Corp. posted its biggest decline since May 2015 after reports that it may book a loss of as much as 500 billion yen ($4.3 billion) on its U.S. nuclear operations.
The shares fell as much as 16 percent to 371 yen in early trading in Tokyo on Tuesday. The company said in a statement that it’s not the source of the news reports and it is assessing the current value of its assets.
The reported loss is related to a dispute over the value of the acquisition of a Chicago Bridge & Iron subsidiary by Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric unit, the Nikkei reported on its website. The writedown would come to about 100 billion yen, the newspaper said, while broadcaster NHK said the charge may total as much as 500 billion yen.
“Assuming the article to be accurate, we would expect Toshiba’s weak financial standing to be damaged further,” said Takeshi Tanaka, an analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.
Such a loss would eclipse the 168 billion yen in net income that analysts are projecting, on average, for Toshiba’s current fiscal year through March. The Tokyo-based company booked a loss of 460 billion yen last year.
Toshiba shares had climbed 77 percent this year through Monday after the company recovered from an accounting scandal that claimed the jobs of three presidents, led to record losses and prompted the company to cut staff and sell off businesses. The conglomerate, which makes everything from refrigerators, chips and computers to nuclear power equipment, is also being sued by shareholders accusing it of misleading them about its finances.
Toshiba was fined a record 7.4 billion yen in December last year after Japanese regulators found the manufacturer misled investors by filing false financial statements. The watchdog has also been gathering evidence to determine whether to seek criminal prosecutions of former bosses over the scandal.