Shares of Iconix Brand Group Inc. gained 1.7 percent Friday, a day after the company said it would “restate historical financial statements” based on its conclusions related to the accounting treatment applied to some joint-venture transactions.
Iconix on Thursday also said that the company “intends to fully cooperate with the SEC” regarding the agency’s investigation. As reported, the company in December said it received a formal order of investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
While two of the Wall Street analysts covering the company saw the latest development — the restatements and conclusion of the SEC comment letter process — as a positive for the company, they nevertheless maintained their current ratings on Iconix shares.
CL King’s Steven L. Marotta has a “Neutral” rating on the stock. He said the company agreed to the reclassification demands and that it was not an unexpected outcome from the SEC comment letter process. But a concern was the refinancing process for the $300 million in convertible notes due this June. While Iconix said the refinancing remained on track, Marotta said it would be at a “disadvantageous” interest rate for the company, given current credit market conditions. He also said the results of the SEC investigation remained a question mark.
Wunderlich Securities’ Eric Beder reiterated his “hold” rating on Iconix shares on similar concerns.
Iconix disclosed last year that the transactions were in connection with an ongoing “comment letter process with the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.” Essentially, the historical accounting treatment was revised to consolidate the financial statements of the joint ventures with Iconix’s financial statements and in turn eliminate the previously reported gains on sale. The restatements added $2.2 million to profits for the nine months ended Sept. 30, boosting the bottom line up to $47.6 million, and cut 2014 earnings by $33.1 million to $75.1 million.
The joint ventures that were part of the comment letter process were Iconix Canada, Iconix Israel, Iconix Southeast Asia, Iconix MENA and LC Partners US.
In disclosing its conclusions, the company also provided additional information in connection with certain accounting matters.
The company said the historical equity method of accounting will continue to be used for Iconix China, Iconix Latin America, Iconix Europe, Iconix India and Iconix Australia. Iconix said it will “recalculate the cost basis of the trademarks contributed to the respective joint ventures to determine the amount of the gain that should have been recorded at the time of the consummation of these transactions.”
Iconix also disclosed that it will recalculate the cost basis of the trademarks sold relating to the Umbro brand in the territory of Korea and the e-commerce and U.S. catalogue rights of the Sharper Image brand to determine the amount of the gain that should have been recorded at the time of sale.
Iconix will reclassify the presentation of its income statement to reflect gains on the sale of trademarks as a separate line item above the operating income line, and not revenue as previously reflected, the company said. Further, Iconix said it will reclassify the “equity earnings on joint ventures” line to above the operating income line from its previous location within the other expenses section.
Iconix, which on Thursday said it has responded to all of the SEC’s questions, also reaffirmed guidance for 2015 licensing revenue and adjusted free cash flow. Peter Cuneo, chairman and interim chief executive officer, said there “will be no impact on free cash flow.”
The company said that its portfolio of brands has “continued to perform in line with expectations.”
Shares of Iconix closed up 1.7 percent to $7.90 on Friday.