BearingPoint Inc. chief executive Harry L. You said yesterday that the company will be ready to report its 2004 financial results in September, a key step in reassuring investors as the company tries to rebound from accounting difficulties.
In a conference call with investors, You said the McLean business consulting firm was still working to bolster its financial controls and will spend at least $90 million preparing its delayed 2004 results and possible earnings restatements from previous years.
"We set a timetable to get the audits done -- that's the last gorilla on our back," You said in an interview. "We think we are clearly seeing a big light at the end of the tunnel."
The new chief executive, brought on four months ago to help the company recover, also said "there should no longer be liquidity concerns about BearingPoint." In April, the company warned investors that it was "facing a potential cash crunch that could push it into insolvency."
It has since raised a $150 million line of credit and an additional $40 million from private equity firm Friedman Fleischer & Lowe (FFL). You said the $40 million will be used to complete two acquisitions. He declined to give details about the purchases, but said both companies are involved in "cutting-edge technologies." In conjunction with the investment, Spencer C. Fleischer, vice chairman of FFL, joined BearingPoint's board of directors.
The company also plans to open an outsourcing facility in Bangalore, India, early next year -- a step critics say BearingPoint should have taken years ago. You said the firm was already in real estate discussions with brokers in the country.
BearingPoint has not released financial results for the first two quarters of 2005, but the company said yesterday that it recorded about $960 million in bookings -- or contracts for work to be done -- during the three months ended June 30. You said that is the highest amount recorded in the firm's history and that increases were seen in each of its three divisions: public sector, financial and commercial services.
Wall Street reacted positively to the company's disclosures, sending shares of BearingPoint up 33 cents, or 4 percent, to close at $8.04.
"The company does seem to be doing better already than it did any time it did during 2004," said Jamie Friedman, an analyst with Fulcrum Global Partners LLP, an independent research firm. But, he added, BearingPoint still has to convince investors of its stability. "The lack of publicly available financials continues to be a hindrance, and that's not a trivial issue."
BearingPoint ousted its longtime chief executive, Randolph C. Blazer, in November and soon after disclosed that it was having trouble with accounting procedures.
Yesterday, the firm said an investigation by its audit committee into the computer system used to manage its finances is ongoing. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also conducting an informal investigation of its financial controls. BearingPoint has previously said that its financial results going back to 2002 may be inaccurate and said yesterday that it is reviewing more than 6,500 contracts.