Three Companies Delay 10-K Filings

Sonus Networks, Per-Se Technologies, and Lennox International postpone annual reports. The issues include revenue-recognition timing, allegations of impropriety, and an audit committee, respectively.

At least three companies that sought 15-day extensions for filing their 2003 annual results said they need more time.

For one company, Sonus Networks, the filing delay is likely to have serious consequences. The company expects to be delisted from Nasdaq because it won’t be in compliance with filing requirements.

Sonus will restate its financials for 2002 and the first three quarters of 2003, according to the company. The Internet-gear maker also announced it might expand an already announced review of its 2002 and 2003 financials.

Because Sonus had not used its current auditor, Ernst and Young, before 2002, the added review and accompanying audit could be lengthy. Before E&Y, now-defunct Arthur Andersen served as the company’s auditor.

Sonus reported that it is performing a detailed review of the timing of revenue recognized from customer transactions and other financial accounts. The revenue issues concern the proper timing of revenue recognition and not whether the sales could ultimately be recorded as revenue, according to the company.

Meanwhile, Per-Se Technologies revealed that it wouldn’t be able to file its 2003 annual report by its previous March 30 extension deadline. On March 16, the physician-practice-management company filed for more time, saying it needed to complete added procedures in connection with charges of improprieties leveled against the company in 2003. In November, the company said that research analysts received an anonymous letter charging the company with improper accounting and business activities, according to Reuters.

But, earlier this week, Per-Se announced that it was unable to predict when it will be in a position to file the report.

Similarly, Lennox International said on Tuesday that the filing of its 2003 annual report was stalled. Earlier this month, the company reported that its audit committee is investigating the accounting practices at its Canadian-based Service Experts business segment.

The manufacturer of heating and cooling systems expects to restate 2003 earnings downward by $5 million to $7 million. “This range may change as the investigation proceeds to completion,” it added.

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