What: Shares of Iconix Brand Group (NASDAQ:ICON) were down 25.8% as of 11:30 a.m. Monday after the brand marketing specialist announced it has received a formal order of investigation from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
So what: Specifically, the investigation centers around Iconix's accounting treatment "for the formation of certain joint ventures."
This shouldn't be a huge surprise. Shares of Iconix Brand Group plunged last month after the company slashed guidance for the full-year 2015, and revealed it would need to restate financial results for the fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015. At the time, Iconix also formed its own investigative committee after the SEC voiced its intention to look into Iconix's financial reporting.
Now what: Those restatements were completed and filed by the end of last month, and Iconix insists it will fully cooperate with the SEC over the course of its formal investigation. Iconix also stated it is in "active discussions" with lenders and continues to expect it will be able to refinance its 2016 convertible notes. In the meantime, Iconix will strive to focus on building its core business and setting a more solid foundation going forward.
Still, investors should remember the company is still facing class action lawsuits over its accounting missteps, and the direct consequences of the SEC's formal investigation remain to be seen. So, even with shares of Iconix trading down more than 80% year to date -- and with a tantalizing forward P/E ratio in the low single digits -- I'm personally content continuing to watch this story unfold from the sidelines.