Hain Celestial Shares Tank 27% as Accounting Problems Delay Results

hain-celestrial-hain-logoNatural foods maker Hain Celestial Group Inc (NASDAQ:HAIN) is in hot water this morning, as accounting problems have delayed its fourth quarter and full-year earnings reports and tanked its share price by more than 27%.

The New Hyde Park, NY-based company “identified concessions that were granted to certain distributors in the United States,” and “is currently evaluating whether the revenue associated with those concessions was accounted for in the correct period and is also currently evaluating its internal control over financial reporting.” From the press release:

During the fourth quarter, the Company identified concessions that were granted to certain distributors in the United States. The Company is currently evaluating whether the revenue associated with those concessions was accounted for in the correct period and is also currently evaluating its internal control over financial reporting. The Audit Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors is conducting an independent review of these matters and has retained independent counsel to assist in that review.

Previously, the Company has recognized revenue pertaining to the sale of its products to certain distributors at the time the products are shipped to such distributors. The Company is evaluating whether the revenue associated with the concessions granted to certain distributors should instead have been recognized at the time the products sell through its distributors to the end customers. The Company expects that any potential changes in the timing of the recognition of revenue with respect to these transactions should not impact the total amount of revenue ultimately recognized by the Company with respect to such distributors and does not reflect on the validity of the underlying transactions with respect to such distributors.

The Company will experience a delay in the timely filing of its Annual Report on Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2016 (the “Form 10-K”) and expects to file a notification of late filing on Form 12b-25 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to obtain an automatic 15-day extension of the filing deadline for the Form 10-K. There can be no assurance that the Company will complete the preparation and filing of the Form 10-K within the extension period.

The Company will not be in a position to release financial results until the completion of the independent review of the Audit Committee and of the audit process relating to the 2016 fiscal year. The Company is working diligently on this matter and will, as soon as practicable, make a further announcement regarding the updated timing of the release of financial results and a conference call on its financial results. Separately, the Company does not expect to achieve its previously announced guidance for fiscal year 2016.

In these types of situations, investors tend to sell first and ask questions later. That’s exactly what’s happening this morning, with Hain Celestial shares falling $14.20 (-26.59%) to $39.20 per share in premarket trading.

Prior to the accounting mishap, HAIN shares had risen 32% since the start of 2016.

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