Shares of wholesale food supplier Fleming
The investigation reportedly centers on the company's accounting and vendor trade practices, as well as some past earnings and same-store sales presentations.
Besides the layoffs, which will involve about 1,800 employees, the realignment announced today also includes some facility closures. Management estimates the program -- which will result in charges of some $290 million, with an actual cash cost of about $115 million -- will provide $60 million in annual savings.
Along with the SEC investigation, the other major issue for the company has been the loss of its top customer, Kmart. After months of uncertainty, Kmart severed the relationship, and suddenly Fleming had lost about 20% of its revenue stream.
These issues -- combined with credit downgrades from Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's -- have sent the stock into a frightening nosedive. Since March of last year, the company has lost 90% of its value.
Chief Financial Officer Mark Shapiro scoffs at suggestions Fleming might fall into bankruptcy, telling Dow Jones Newswires earlier this month that cash flow remains positive and there is no material debt maturing until 2007.
Maybe so, but this is currently a very risky stock, and not one we're interested in at this time.