EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- Supervalu Inc. said Tuesday it will take an after-tax charge of $19 million to $21 million because of intentional inventory misstatements by a former employee over at least four years.
But the company hasn't determined precisely when to take the charge. It may be applied to its fiscal 2003 first quarter, which ended June 15, or to prior-year results, leading to a restatement.
The problem is an understatement of cost of goods sold in Supervalu's pharmacy division, said Jeff Noddle, chairman and chief executive. Sales were properly reported for all periods, he said.
The charge does not materially affect the financial condition of Supervalu as a whole, Noddle said.
Supervalu is conducting a thorough review with its auditors, the Board's audit committee, and an independent accounting firm, he said.
"We are severely displeased that this former employee deliberately violated well-defined policies. This event is unprecedented at Supervalu, and we will not tolerate this unacceptable behavior in our organization," Noddle said.
"We regret that it is necessary to take this charge. Our ongoing business remains strong and this unfortunate incident in no way interferes with the momentum we have built over the past year," Noddle said.
Supervalu also said it expects earnings per share for the quarter ended June 15 to range from 56 cents to 58 cents a share prior to the impact of the charge. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call expected a profit of 58 cents a share. The company will announce results July 1.
Supervalu said full-year earnings per share are still expected to range from $2.20 to $2.35 a share, excluding the charge.
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