Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. fell Thursday after the pharmaceutical maker disclosed that it may have to restate results because it had encouraged wholesalers to buy too many drugs as a way to pad its revenues.
In a securities filing made Wednesday, Bristol-Myers also stated that a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the overstocking issue might become “a more formal investigation.”
The company said it was still unclear whether it would have to restate its results, and it didn’t say by how much.
The SEC is investigating the sales promotion to see if it inflated Bristol-Myers 2001 earnings by up to dlrs 1 billion. The company said it is cooperating with the SEC.
Earlier this year, Bristol-Myers said that sales promotions to wholesalers last year had led to excessive buying of drugs, leaving a glut of inventory that would adversely affect its earnings in 2002.
The latest disclosures came on the day of an SEC-imposed deadline for corporate executives to vouch for the validity of their financial statements.
Bristol-Myers’ shares fell dlrs 1.71 or 7 percent to dlrs 21.90 in midday trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.