November 19, 2019

WFT Has Another WTF Moment with Its Tax Accounting

Remember Weatherford International? That's the company whose internal controls (or lack thereof) led to $500 million in tax errors and restatements going back to 2007. Also as a result, the Chief Accounting Officer left the company to "pursue another career opportunity." Not the company's finest hour. After such a harrowing financial reporting experience, one might think that WFT would have rushed out to pick up the latest copy of COSO and lock their shit up. 


Weatherford International Ltd. (WFT) said Tuesday that accounting errors will mean that investors should no longer rely upon its previously issued financial statements, sending the oil-field-services company's share price plummeting despite fourth-quarter revenue rising more than expected. […] Weatherford said it will file restated financial statements for 2009 and 2010 "as soon as practicable." The refilings will include information pertaining to its finances in 2007 and 2008, the company said. After reviewing its internal controls, Weatherford estimates its 2012 tax rate will be 35%. Its [sic] expects to pay $490 million to $520 million in taxes for 2011, higher than analysts had expected.

But you know who can turn lemons into lemonade? WFT CEO Bernard Duroc-Danner:

"I understand how repeated setbacks on administrative issues are painful, but in this instance, I would characterize this quarter's events and income-tax accounting as also constructive," Weatherford Chief Executive Bernard Duroc-Danner said during a conference call with investors.  

Yes, errors that seem to magically repeat themselves and result in extra work for accountants and auditors are constructive, aren't they? 

Weatherford 4Q Revenue Up 27%; Investors Can't Rely On Prior Financials [Dow Jones]

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