Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Must Not Mind That Their Audit Firm Is Also a Strategic Partner for a Presentation That Includes a Blogger That Doesn’t Say Particularly Nice Things About Their Financial Reporting

As most of you know, convicted-fraudster-turned-accounting-sleuth and all-around ham Sam Antar now spends his days blogging, exposing companies whose financial reporting and disclosures strikes him as a little too familiar to some of the tricks he pulled in his Crazy Eddie days.  Sam also spends a fair amount of time educating the less criminally-inclined on […]

Another Hedge Fund Manager Doesn’t Like the Smell of Green Mountain’s Accounting

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. […], maker of the single-serve Keurig brewing machine, fell to the lowest in seven months after hedge fund managing director Whitney Tilson said there may be potential for accounting fraud at the company. Green Mountain fell 10 percent to $58.19 at 1:07 p.m. in New York, after dropping to $56.19, the lowest intraday price since March 10. The shares lost 22 percent in the week before today after David Einhorn, the president of Greenlight Capital Inc., said the company has a “litany of accounting questions” and needs to improve its transparency. [Bloomberg, Earlier]

David Einhorn Roasts Green Mountain’s Accounting

“I believe the available market is smaller than the bulls believe it to be and that Green Mountain has already penetrated a good chunk of it,” Einhorn, president of Greenlight Capital Inc., said today during his so-called “GAAP-uccino” presentation at the Value Investing Congress in New York. “The market is limited,” he said. The company also has a “litany of accounting questions,” Einhorn said, adding that it has reduced transparency and needs to improve disclosure. [BBW]

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Decides That It Might Be a Good Idea to Have Someone Oversee Their Accounting on a Daily Basis

As you may know, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has had some issues with its financial reporting. So much so that, about a year ago, the SEC asked to poke around. Ever since then, they company has been a favorite of Sam Antar, who has written a slew of blog posts about their shoddy accounting. After a tough year of criticism, it appears the company seems to have found a solution to their double-entry woes – they didn’t have a Chief Accounting Officer!

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. […], a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers, today announced the appointment of Stephen L. Gibbs as its Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer effective immediately. This newly created position has been established to strengthen GMCR’s accounting function and overall financial control environment.

So everything should be on the straight and narrow now. I just hope Mr. Gibbs doesn’t mind being asked awkward questions.

UPDATE: The company is also looking for a Fraud Prevention Manager if you know anyone who is interested.

[via GMCR]

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters: Gosh, We Ended Up Having Way More Accounting Errors Than We Thought

Back in September, Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters put the world on notice that the SEC was asking some questions about their revenue recognitions policies. Despite the SEC Q&A, analysts we’re cool with the company and the GAAP the crunchy accounting group was putting out.

Also at that time, the company disclosed that there were some immaterial accounting errors that were NBD. That was until they dropped a little 8-K on everyone last Friday!


Turns out, there was a whole mess of accounting booboos and the company will be restating “previously issued financial statements, including the quarterly data for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 and its selected financial data for the relevant periods.”

From the aforementioned 8-K with all the bad news:

The Company has discovered the following errors:

• A $7.6 million overstatement of pre-tax income, cumulative over the restated periods, due to the K-Cup inventory adjustment error previously reported in the Company’s Form 8-K filed on September 28, 2010. This error is the result of applying an incorrect standard cost to intercompany K-Cup inventory balances in consolidation. This error resulted in an overstatement of the consolidated inventory and an understatement of the cost of sales. Rather than correcting the cumulative amount of the error in the quarter ended September 25, 2010, as disclosed in the September 28, 2010 Form 8-K, the effect of this error will be recorded in the applicable restated periods.

• A $1.4 million overstatement of pre-tax income, cumulative over the restated periods, due to the under-accrual of certain marketing and customer incentive program expenses. The Company also has corrected the classification of certain of these amounts as reductions to net sales instead of selling and operating expenses. These programs include, but are not limited to, brewer mark-down support and funds for promotional and marketing activities. Management has determined that miscommunication between the sales and accounting departments resulted in expenses for certain of these programs being recorded in the wrong fiscal periods.

• A $1.0 million overstatement of pre-tax income, cumulative over the restated periods, due to changes in the timing and classification of the Company’s historical revenue recognition of royalties from third party licensed roasters. Because royalties were recognized upon shipment of K-Cups by roasters pursuant to the terms and conditions of the licensing agreements with these roasters, Keurig historically recognized these royalties at the time Keurig purchased the K-Cups from the licensed roasters and classified this royalty in net sales. Management has determined to recognize this royalty as a reduction to the carrying cost of the related inventory. The gross margin benefit of the royalty will then be realized upon the ultimate sale of the product to a third party customer. Due to the Company’s completed and, when consummated, pending acquisitions of third party licensed roasters, these purchases and the associated royalties have become less of a factor, since the post-acquisition royalties from these wholly-owned roasters are not included in the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

• An $800,000 overstatement of pre-tax income, cumulative over the restated periods, due to applying an incorrect standard cost to intercompany brewer inventory balances in consolidation. This error was identified during the preparation of the fiscal year 2010 financial statements and resulted in an overstatement of the consolidated inventory and an understatement of the cost of sales.

• A $700,000 understatement of pre-tax income for the Specialty Coffee business unit, due primarily to a failure to reverse an accrual related to certain customer incentive programs in the second fiscal quarter of 2010. The over-accrual was not identified and corrected until the fourth fiscal quarter of 2010.

• In addition to the errors described above, the Company also will include in the restated financial statements certain other immaterial errors, including previously unrecorded immaterial adjustments identified in audits of prior years’ financial statements.

So naturally you shouldn’t rely on anything out there. Despite the discovery and disclosure of this massive fuckup and warnings from Sam Antar including some possible insider trading (it’s a theme today) and disclosure violations, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch thought it would be rad to upgrade the stock which has sent the price soaring. Why not, right?

In directly related news, anyone on the PwC audit team shouldn’t make any Thanksgiving plans.

Accounting News Roundup: Debunking the Audit Industry Green Paper; Theories Behind the Tax Cut That Nobody Noticed; AIG Is Doing a Happy Dance | 10.22.10

The EC’s Green Paper, “Audit Policy: Lessons from the Crisis”: The Bureaucrats Blow Another Chance [Re:Balance]
Jim Peterson dissects the European Commission’s Green Paper on the audit industry and isn’t impressed with what is inside.

Interesting Issues in Timing of Green Mountain Insider Stock Sales and Disclosure of SEC Inquiry [White Collar Fraud]
Sam Antar is curious about GMCR executive Michelle Stacy’s sudden exercising of stock options. You see, GMCR was notified of the SEC investigation into their revenue recognition on September 20th. Ms. Stacy exercised and sold her options on the 21st. The company announced the SEC investigation on the 28th.

Regardless of what analysts think about Vermont hippies and their knowledge of revenue recognition, the timing will certainly get the attention of someone (who finds porn disgusting) at the SEC.

Why Nobody Noticed Obama’s Tax Cuts [TaxVox]
According to Tax Policy Center estimates, 96.9 percent of households enjoyed a tax cut that averaged almost $1,200. Just one measure—Obama’s Making Work Pay tax credit—put more than $116 billion into people’s pockets in 2009 and 2010.

Yet, a Times poll found that fewer than 10 percent of those surveyed had any clue. Remarkably, fully one-third thought their taxes went up—even though the actual number was about zero.

Poll: Financial crisis will force states to raise taxes [On the Money]
78% say it’s gonna happen.

Office Depot, execs settle SEC disclosure charges [Reuters]
The SEC had accused the company, its CEO Stephen Odland and former chief financial officer Patricia McKay of conveying to analysts and big investors that the company would not meet analysts’ earning estimates for the second quarter of 2007.

New Faces Enter Fray in Accounting [NYT]
Floyd Norris remembers the old cast at the FASB, IASB and introduces the new ones.


AIG Raises $17.8 Billion in Record AIA Hong Kong IPO [Bloomberg]
American International Group Inc. raised a record HK$138.3 billion ($17.8 billion) from the Hong Kong initial public offering of its main Asian unit, putting what was once the world’s largest insurer on course to repay its 2008 bailout.

AIG sold 7.03 billion shares, or a 58 percent stake, at HK$19.68 each, the top end of a marketing range, Hong Kong-based AIA said an e-mailed statement. It used an option to expand the sale offered from 5.86 billion, or a 49 percent stake.

Comment: EU audit proposals full of contradictions [Accountancy Age]
More debunking of the EC Green Paper.

Aetna CFO duties to expand under new CEO [Reuters]
Aetna Inc [AET.N] will expand the responsibilities of Chief Financial Officer Joseph Zubretsky to include leadership of the health insurer’s strategic diversification plans under the incoming chief executive officer.

Analysts Aren’t Concerned About SEC Probe of Vermont Hippies’ Revenue Recognition Policies

Somewhat related: It’s National Coffee Day. Does the SEC have no sense of timing?

Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (GMCR.O) fell as much as 18 percent on Wednesday, a day after it said U.S. regulators made an inquiry into some of its revenue recognition practices and its relationship with a vendor, which analysts said was M.Block & Sons.

However, most analysts believe Green Mountain’s accounting policies are sound.

“We are comfortable with Green Mountain’s revenue recognition policy, the fact that it does not have control over M. Block & Sons, unquestioned management integrity and strong auditors (PricewaterhouseCoopers),” Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Mitchell Pinheiro said.

At least this analyst knows the name of the auditors. We’re looking straight you, Dick Bové.

Green Mountain roasted on SEC probe; analysts unfazed [Reuters]