BusinessCompany NewsAccount inquiry sees resellor delay filing

Account inquiry sees resellor delay filing

Network management software vendor Micromuse has delayed filing its annual report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, citing an internal investigation of its accounts going back at least four years.

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‘It’s not that unusual for this sort of thing to happen,’ said James Governor, principle analyst at RedMonk. ‘But in an era of heightened scrutiny, late filing can spell trouble for a company, regardless of what has actually happened.’

Micromuse sells its products – including its flagship, Netcool – to service providers through firms such as Siemens, Nortel and Alcatel. The company has made moves to get into the enterprise market of late, buying rival firm Riversoft in 2002. Analyst Gartner Group ranked Netcool alongside Hewlett-Packard’s OpenView Operations management suite in a survey of enterprise event management software last May.

In a conference call over the New Year period, Mike Luetkemeyer, chief financial officer at Micromuse, told investors that a number of errors in the accounting of accrued expenses and expense recognition would be investigated. However, Luetkemeyer added that the errors would not have an impact on the firm’s cash holdings or reported revenues.

The company offered revised turnover and profit guidance, saying that revenue for the first quarter of 2004 would be ‘at the high end of or slightly over’ previous estimates of between $35m and $45m.

Governor said: ‘It’s a shame that just as the service provider market – Micromuse’s traditional core market – is picking up again, these problems have landed on its plate. It has done a pretty good job of diversifying into the enterprise market.’

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