Peregrine Restating, SEC Investigating

E-commerce software maker Peregrine Systems said Thursday it will restate 11 straight quarters of financial results after an internal accounting investigation found errors.

The San Diego-based firm said it will adjust its books for fiscal years 2000 and 2001 and the first three quarters of fiscal year 2002. The irregularities could top the $100 million mark.

The company offers products and services in infrastructure resource management, employee relationship management (or self-service) and e-commerce technologies and services.

The accounting firm of KPMG, which Peregrine hired to replace disgraced auditors Arthur Andersen in April, first flagged the errors. A preliminary report earlier this month suggested that some transactions, which were first, recorded as revenue from indirect channels but may have been written off in later quarters.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched its own investigation, which Peregrine said it “intends to fully cooperate with.”

In a statement the company said it is, “reviewing a range of expense management initiatives, including a reduction in force and financing alternatives, and will provide additional information on these matters as soon as it is practical.”

Peregrine currently handles close to 3,000 employees.

The initial probe resulted in the departure of company CEO Steve Gardner and CFO Matt Glass and a 52-week low stock price of $0.73 cents for the first time in the company’s history.

Shares of Peregrine tipped upward to $1.57 in Thursday afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The burden of proof now lies with Peregrine’s current executive team including CEO Rick Nelson, interim CFO Fred Gerson (of San Diego Padres baseball franchise fame) and Charles La Bella, the company’s executive VP and senior counsel.

The company will have its work cut out for them, already a handful of law firms are seeking plaintiffs for a class action lawsuit.

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