Bell Micro accounting debacle finally over

Bell Microproducts is finally up-to-date with SEC filings after posting first half results for 2009 and can put the restatement woes of recent years behind it. The US distributor has spent the last two and three quarter years investigating accounting errors dating back to 1996 and was subsequently

Bell Microproducts is finally up-to-date with SEC filings after posting first half results for 2009 and can put the restatement woes of recent years behind it.

 

The US distributor has spent the last two and three quarter years investigating accounting errors dating back to 1996 and was subsequently de-listed on NASDAQ as its quarterly financials had been delayed, leading to speculation about its future.

 

Today Bell lifted the covers off the figures claiming that the market has stabilised in the first six months of 2009 as sales fell 26% year-on-year to $1.4bn but dipped just 2% sequentially in the second quarter to $704m.

 

Losses for the period were $7.1m compared to a loss of $20.7m in the first six months of 2008. The company generated 85m from operations and cut total debts by 18% to $315m.

 

"We are current with all of our SEC reports," Graeme Watt, president of worldwide distribution at Bell told MicroScope, "this is clearly good news for staff and suppliers".

 

Watt said it had kept vendors fully briefed during the investigation but admitted some had not been fully comfortable with the perceived "risks or stigma" of the situation.

 

Resolution of the investigation into the historical treatment of trade credits and the subsequent restatement cost Bell around $70m, not to mention the time it usurped from the senior management team.

 

However the plan of the executive team remains the same, to get Bell re-listed on a national stock exchange as soon as possible and they may even seek get back on the acquisition trail.

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