At the beginning of the year, Sonus executives missed their own earnings party, and later announced that they would not report fourth-quarter and full-year financial results until completion of an internal audit. Apparently, there was suspicion that revenue may have been booked incorrectly by the company.
As the next-generation telecom supplier remained tight-lipped, investors continued to unload the stock, sending shares to $4.27 yesterday. This is a far cry from the $10 per-share level the stock touched just before the earnings announcement -- er, "non-announcement." The precipitous drop has evaporated more than $1 billion from Sonus' market cap. Dozens of shareholder lawsuits have no doubt fanned the flames as well.
The few statements made by the company since the problems began have done little to appease investors (or one notable Fool). In the weeks that followed, Sonus management came forth and admitted there were some "revenue issues" severe enough to fire certain non-executive employees.
With an important SEC deadline for filing its 10-K coming to pass earlier this month, the company asked for the 15-day extension and only filed a partial 10-K. The interim filing had more holes than information, though, so once again investors had little to go by.
The only morbid comfort may be that Sonus has company -- peer Nortel Networks
Yet, regardless of its accounting issues, Sonus has continued to make progress in its business. Japan's Softbank has selected to deploy Sonus gear and signed up for its software services as well. The company also inked an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) deal with Motorola to integrate one of its product offerings into a platform solution. The company has even recently nabbed a vice president from Juniper Networks
So, while Sonus has some dark clouds hanging over its books, the company seems to be moving forward. While a much cheaper stock may be tempting investors, it's probably best for Fools to wait this one out. At least until next week, when the company should file a full 10-K or gives a clearer indication of the revenue recognition problems.
Fool contributor Dave Mock is still trying to find ways to mix two of his favorite foods -- Mac 'n Cheese and marshmallow cream -- to make a satisfying treat. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here.
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