Investors vented their disappointment yesterday that Fannie Mae won't finish restating billions of dollars in earnings for at least another year.
Shares of the District-based mortgage giant fell 4 percent, or $2.19, to close at $52.64.
Fannie Mae laid out the time frame for its restatement in a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission after the markets closed on Tuesday.
While several analysts said they were not surprised by how long the restatement is likely to take, some said investors were unhappy that Fannie would not be able to put its accounting scandal behind it sooner.
Robert Lacoursiere, an analyst with Banc of America Securities, said some investors based their expectations on the experience of smaller rival Freddie Mac, which after similar accounting troubles finished a restatement in 11 months, about half the time Fannie estimated it will need.
"It's pretty clear now that it will take [Fannie] longer to get to what Freddie has already achieved," Lacoursiere said in an interview.
Fannie's chief executive, Daniel H. Mudd, seemed to anticipate investors' impatience, telling analysts during a conference call yesterday, "The question I asked is, 'Why the hell does this take so long?' " He then described the complexities of the task and the millions of labor hours it will require. The company said in its SEC filing that the effort will cost it $420 million this year.
Mudd also discussed the possibility that the company could be delisted by the New York Stock Exchange for its extended failure to report its earnings. But Mudd, analysts and a spokesman for the exchange portrayed such action as unlikely. "Fannie Mae has indicated that it's committed all resources necessary to complete the restatement as expeditiously as possible . . . and we are mindful of the company's size and importance to the U.S. economy," said NYSE spokesman Scott Peterson.
Lacoursiere said a more serious issue facing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is legislation being considered by Congress that would give a new regulator authority to limit their investment holdings. In a research note issued yesterday, the analyst said a Senate proposal that would significantly restrict the kinds of assets Fannie and Freddie could hold would not allow the companies to "replicate historical returns and earning growth."
Fannie Mae, in its SEC filing, said the proposals "could have a material adverse effect on future earnings, shareholder returns, ability to fulfill our mission."