Shares of business retailer Office Depot plunged 14.1% Monday after the company said it would delay its Q3 earnings release, originally slated for Tuesday. Office Depot said the review, "relates principally to the timing of the recognition of certain vendor-program funds." Shares dropped drastically after one analyst said the delay raised question about the firm's financial statements: "While the scope and specific drivers of the issues are unclear, the presence of any investigation with the involvement of the board, suggests questions about the integrity of the company's financial statements and, as such, render the valuation process challenging," Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Fassler wrote. While it's too early to assess if there were any "untoward" practices, Fassler said, he expects "high sensitivity to this issue given the significant margin expansion noted in the early portion of [CEO] Steve Odland's tenure." Lehman analyst Brad Thomas was less disturbed: "This often has been a one-time issue rather than something that impacts growth rate and cash flow," he wrote.
Commentary: Office Depot Is Cheap Relative To Peers Staples and OfficeMax • Office Depot's Dubious Analyst Call Program • Office Depot's Working Its Way Up - Barron's
Stocks to watch: ODP
Earnings call transcript: Office Depot Q2 2007
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