IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Computer Associates to restate earnings

Computer Associates International Inc. said Thursday it will restate earnings for 2000 through 2004.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Computer Associates International Inc. said Thursday it will restate earnings for 2000 through 2004 after an audit found sales under former management that appear to have "no valid commercial purpose."

The company also said it would delay filing its fiscal 2005 report by 15 days. The report was to be released on June 29. It also said it would adjust its financial statements for the 2005 fiscal year, which ended March 31.

The company released the news in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing after the close of trading Thursday.

The Islandia, N.Y., company, which makes back-office software and storage systems for large corporations, has been plagued by accounting problems.

The SEC said in September that from 1998 to 2000 the company "prematurely recognized" more than $3.3 billion in revenue from 363 contracts.

According to an indictment that month of Sanjay Kumar, the company's former CEO, and Stephen Richards, its former head of worldwide sales, executives and managers engaged in a widespread conspiracy to falsely inflate the company's quarterly earnings by backdating contracts, a practice referred to inside the company as "the 35-day month."

Executives met to plan strategy for stuffing new contracts into the previous quarter. They "cleaned up" documents by removing time stamps from faxes, and Kumar once flew to Paris to sign a deal that was falsely backdated, according to the indictment filed in New York federal court.

Kumar was ousted from his position in April 2004 after being implicated in the scandal. He was indicted on charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice. He has pleaded not guilty. Four other former executives of the company, including its chief financial officer, have pleaded guilty to similar charges.

The company also restated its 2000 and 2001 financials in April 2004 to reflect $2.2 billion in improperly booked revenue.

Government regulators struck an unusual deal with the company last September that will defer prosecution of the company as a whole. Computer Associates agreed to make $225 million in payments to shareholders; an outside monitor is tracking its financial reporting for an 18-month period, and the company is reviewing past financial filings.

As part of that review, it found "a handful of contracts that were recorded incorrectly," the company said in a statement Friday. The amounts involved are approximately $100 million, it said.

"We're trying to be precise and conservative in our accounting," the company statement said.

SEC spokesman John Heine declined Friday to comment on the company. A telephone message left with Computer Associates for comment was not immediately returned.

Computer Associates' coming restatement was triggered by transactions from 1998 to 2001 that were "not negotiated on an arm's-length basis," the company said in its SEC filing Thursday.

The company said it will issue new restatements for 2000 and 2001 and restate numbers for 2003 and 2004 in its annual report, since those amounts are "relatively small."

The company said it had not completed its financial review and might identify additional transactions requiring adjustments to previous financial statements, although it does not expect meaningful adjustments to the statements from 2002 to 2005.