Marvell Stock Tumbles on Disclosure of Probe

The embattled chipmaker is looking into whether 7% to 8% of second-quarter revenue was improperly recognized.
Matthew HellerSeptember 11, 2015

Marvell Technology Group fell 16% on Friday — its biggest single-day decline in almost 13 years — after the beleaguered chipmaker disclosed it had launched an internal investigation of its accounting.

According to a regulatory filing, the probe is focusing on “certain revenue recognition issues in the second quarter of fiscal 2016″ and “whether senior management’s operating style during the period resulted in an open flow of information and communication to set an appropriate tone for an effective control environment.”

As a result of the investigation, Marvell has delayed the filing of its second-quarter report. It reported a preliminary loss of $382.4 million,or 74 cents a share, for the quarter, compared to a profit of $138.9 million, or 27 cents, a year earlier. Analysts had anticipated a profit of $14.8 million, or 2 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

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Marvell’s shares closed at $8.84 after the biggest single-day drop since October 2002. The stock has tumbled 39% this year.

“We consider the stock to be unownable during such an investigation, and it will likely take a considerable amount of time for investors to regain confidence in management,” Chris Caso, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, wrote in a note to investors.

Bloomberg reports that as many as three analysts cut their ratings on the chipmaker, the management of which is dominated by the family of founder and CEO Sehat Sutardja.

According to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Marvell’s audit committee is looking into about 7% to 8% of revenue that was recognized in the second quarter but “based upon the original customer request date, would have been received and earned in the third quarter of fiscal 2016.”

The committee’s “investigation to date has revealed no material issues regarding the company’s 2016 second-quarter financial results, and the company believes the investigation will have no material impact on its previously issued financial statements,” Marvell said.

The company has been “struggling amid lower demand in the computer and storage sectors and from a weaker global economy,” The Wall Street Journal said.

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