Plug Power to restate financial statements, stock plunges

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Plug Power Inc. stock fell more than 10% in the extended session Tuesday after the fuel-cell company said it will have to restate financial statements for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 as well as some recent quarterly filings.

Plug Power

said it spotted errors in accounting mostly related to non-cash items, including how it classified some costs, which resulted in fewer research-and-development expenses and a corresponding increase in cost of revenue; the reported book value of right-of-use assets; loss accruals for certain service contracts; and impairment of some long-term assets.

It did not detect misconduct, it said.

“The accounting related to the restatement is complex and technical and involves significant judgments in how to apply U.S. GAAP, given the innovative nature of the company’s business and its leading position in a new and rapidly developing industry,” Plug Power said in a statement.

The company will also restate quarterly filings for 2019 and 2020. As a result of the corrections, Plug Power will not file its form 10K by Tuesday as planned, it said. It said it will do so “as soon as possible.”

“The revised accounting will change how the company accounts for certain transactions and items, but is not expected to impact the company’s cash position, business operations or economics of commercial arrangements,” Plug Power said.

The company said it continues to expect to meet some of its previously stated targets, including gross billings of $475 million in 2021, $750 million in 2022 and $1.7 billion in 2024.

Plug Power also said that at the time it released fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 results, and before the audit, no material issues were raised. After the February results and in the course of preparing the audit, however, both the company and auditor KPMG identified the issues, which did not “result from any override of controls or misconduct.”

Shares of Plug Power have gained nearly 1,450% in the past 12 months, compared with gains around 66% for the S&P 500 index

in the same period.

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