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SEC Investigating IBM Accounting

Jun 3, 2003 | AP

Federal regulators are investigating how technology giant IBM Corp. booked revenue in 2000 and 2001, the company disclosed Monday.

IBM said it had received a notice of a formal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission that primarily concerns “certain types of customer transactions.â€

The Armonk, N.Y.-based company said it believes the probe arose from a separate SEC investigation into a customer of IBM’s retail store solutions unit, which sells computing equipment and software for checkout counters and kiosks.

Spokesmen for IBM declined to elaborate. The company said it is cooperating fully with the SEC and is committed to maintaining the highest standards of accounting.

SEC spokesman John Heine declined comment and would neither confirm nor deny an investigation.

IBM shares fell 71 cents to $87.33 in regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange, then lost $2.58 more in extended trading after the investigation was disclosed.

Last year, the SEC opened an inquiry into how IBM accounted for income it got from the sale of a business to communications equipment manufacturer JDS Uniphase Corp. The SEC closed the investigation without taking any action.

IBM is one of the world’s biggest companies. It earned $3.6 billion in 2002 on revenue of $81 billion.

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