Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR) are percolating this morning, as the company behind the Keurig single-cup brewers reveals that it will be restating four years of financials.


Companies taking a vat of Liquid Paper to earlier reports are typically knocked down a few pegs, but investors are just relieved to learn that this could have been far worse for the java junkie.

An SEC accounting inquiry was launched in September, and Green Mountain claims that its internal sniffing is nearly complete. Green Mountain also is saying that none of the financial blunders relate to its relationship with fulfillment vendor M. Block & Sons, an allegation that had raised eyebrows back in September.

The end result of the restatement adds up to roughly $0.05 a share total over the past four years, including a $0.02 a share hit during this fiscal year's first quarter. The company's restated profit through the first three quarters of fiscal 2010 will now be $0.38 a share, compared to the $0.40 a share that was originally reported.

This doesn't lay the matter to rest entirely. Green Mountain's internal investigation is only "nearly" complete -- and the SEC is apparently not done sniffing around. Friday night's filing is still an encouraging sign, though, since it's a bold step toward closure.

Green Mountain had been rolling before the accounting hiccup. Keurig brewers and K-Cup refills continue to sell briskly, despite Starbucks' (Nasdaq: SBUX) rollout of Via instant coffee and the mainstream assault of McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) with McCafe. If you haven't seen the clever ads, Burger King is also hoping to make a dent by giving out free coffee on Friday mornings this month.

Green Mountain also knows how to go on the offensive. It's snapping up regional K-Cup brands, even prolifically outbidding Peet's (Nasdaq: PEET) for Diedrich Coffee. It's also in the process of legally going after a unit of Treehouse Foods (NYSE: THS) for selling unauthorized K-Cup knock-offs.

The accounting setbacks have been both a distraction and a blow to Green Mountain's credibility, but investors today realize that sometimes you need to take a step back on past earnings to go forward.

Is Green Mountain over the worst of this investigation? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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