“这是我首次听到这种报道。”股票分析公司Argus Research Company的技术、媒体和通信高级分析师约瑟夫·博纳说道。“不得不说，60亿美元听起来有些令人难以置信。”
投资顾问公司Bel Air Investment Advisors的总法律顾问兼首席合规官、曾经担任美国证券交易委员会执法律师的安迪·邓巴表示：“如果他们收到一家上市公司的财务分析师的投诉，指控该公司存在会计违规行为，我认为他们应该会对此留意”，而不是轻易地置之不理。“谁知道她对证券交易委员会说了什么？她可能掌握着更多细节。”（财富中文网）
Disney is supposed to be in the business of making magic—but not with its numbers.
A former senior financial analyst for the Walt Disney Company has filed multiple claims with the Securities and Exchange Commission about the company’s accounting practices, according to a report by MarketWatch.
Sandra Kuba claims that employees at Disney falsely inflated revenue for years. Some of the alleged methods included pretending that complimentary golf games or other free or discounted promotional services and products were paid in full. Software flaws supposedly allowed these and other misstatements to be entered.
Disney, in a statement to Fortune, denied the claims had any merit. Kuba was “fired for cause” in 2017 and has “persistently made patently false claims for over two years,” a company spokesman said. Her claims have been “thoroughly investigated and found to be utterly baseless,” the spokesman added, and MarketWatch “has been aware of the facts for months.”
Here's what we know so far.
The whistleblower says she told management
Public companies live and die by their revenues and profits. Regulators require full and accurate financial statements so investors can see a company’s performance.
Kuba claims that Disney manipulated many small transactions, allegedly at its theme parks, misrepresenting their actual value and, when totaled, significantly increasing the company’s revenues.
In Disney’s 2009 fiscal year, the parks and resorts business unit showed $10.7 billion in revenue. Kuba says the number could have been inflated by upwards of $6 billion.
She claims to have repeatedly reported the problems to Disney management. Kuba says she contacted the SEC in 2017 and was fired a month after.
Investors aren’t worried
Shares were down only 0.12%, suggesting that investors were not terribly alarmed. Some experts who spoke with Fortune expressed doubts about the larger claims.
“This is the first report that I’ve heard of,” said Joseph Bonner, a senior analyst for technology, media, and communications at equities analysis firm Argus Research Company. “I have to say that $6 billion sounds a little unbelievable.”
James Angel, a professor of finance at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, was similarly unconvinced. “Disney is a master of financial engineering,” he said. “If there’s a loophole available, would they have exploited it? I don’t doubt it. Would they have committed financial fraud? I’d be shocked.”
Angel thought that it was more likely that a mid-level manager trying to push their numbers up, if anything at all—but that internal auditors would probably have uncovered the practice.
Kuba says she’s met with the SEC multiple times
Kuba told MarketWatch she had multiple phone and in-person meetings with SEC personnel. There is no evidence that the agency is even undertaking an investigation.
“If they get a complaint from a financial analyst at a publicly-traded company alleging accounting irregularities, my bet is that they would give that a second look” rather than quickly dismissing it, said Andy Dunbar, general counsel and chief compliance officer at Bel Air Investment Advisors and a former SEC enforcement attorney. “And who knows what she told to the SEC? She could have a lot more detail.”