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Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa leaving a press conference in Tokyo on Feb. 14.
Japan-Update

Toshiba set to push back earnings release again

Differences of opinion on Westinghouse probe seen causing further delays

| Japan

TOKYO -- Toshiba reportedly plans to postpone releasing earnings for the nine months ended December, currently due out Tuesday, amid continued disagreement over an investigation into U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric.

The earnings announcement, initially slated for Feb. 14, was already delayed for up to a month -- until Tuesday at the latest -- to allow time for American and Japanese auditing firms to investigate reports of faulty internal controls at Westinghouse. Company executives allegedly exerted inappropriate pressure on subordinates regarding the massive losses that touched off Toshiba's current crisis.

A report on the probe must be submitted with earnings for the period. The auditing firm retained by Westinghouse has apparently not signed off on the report, citing the possibility that similar problems occurred in previous fiscal years. With the matter still unresolved, Toshiba has started informing relevant parties that another delay looks likely.

The troubled conglomerate is expected to apply for a deadline extension Tuesday, likely seeking an additional month or so. Though the regional finance bureau intends to grant the request, it has expressed reservations over the length of the extension, a source said. The new deadline thus remains unclear for now.

If the application is rejected, Toshiba will need to submit an earnings statement within eight business days or face delisting. President Satoshi Tsunakawa and other officials plan to hold a news conference Tuesday to explain the reason for the delay and lay out plans for the company's nuclear operations.

Unaudited results for the April-December period released Feb. 14 showed a group net loss of 499.9 billion yen ($4.35 billion). Toshiba expects liabilities to exceed assets by 150 billion yen when its books close for the fiscal year ending this month. If its net worth is negative at fiscal year-end, Toshiba's shares will be demoted from the first section to the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

(Nikkei)

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