Accounting & Tax

Two Companies Restate

Johnson Controls wrestles with deconsolidating a joint venture; Ameritrade reexamines prepaid variable forward contracts.
Stephen TaubNovember 22, 2005

Johnson Controls Inc. and Ameritrade Holding Corp. are two of the latest companies to announce plans to restate their financials.

Johnson Controls, a Milwaukee-based provider of automotive interiors and building controls products, announced that its revisions will cover 2003 and 2004 and the first two quarters of 2005. The restatements are in response to a comment raised by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the company’s historical consolidation of a North American joint venture, which was deconsolidated by Johnson on April 1.

The company stressed that the amendments will have no impact on net income, earnings per share, or its financial position.

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Ameritrade announced that it will restate its results for fiscal years 2003 and 2004, as well as the first three quarters of fiscal year 2005, stemming from the accounting treatment of prepaid variable forward contracts related to its investment in Knight Capital Group.

As a result, the Omaha, Nebraska-based online brokerage is increasing net income for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2005, by $5 million, increasing net income for fiscal 2004 by $10.5 million, and decreasing net income for fiscal 2003 by $28 million. The restatements have no net effect on consolidated cash flows, total comprehensive income, or total stockholders’ equity, the company stressed.

In a separate announcement, Ameritrade named assistant treasurer Michael D. Chochon to the position of treasurer. He will be responsible for capital structure, liquidity, balance sheet management, risk reporting, and external banking and rating agency relations for the company. Chochon succeeds Randy MacDonald, who previously served as treasurer in addition to his continuing roles as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer.