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Tyco mops up after Kozlowski.

Byline: John Duckers Business Editor

Tyco International, whose indicted former chairman Dennis Kozlowski is accused of running a criminal enterprise that stole more than pounds 357 million from the company, yesterday said it would restate five and a half years of financial results.

The conglomerate, whose products include bandages, burglar alarms, coat hangers and sprinklers, said the restatement would push back previously reported charges.

Kozlowski has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.

Tyco, which in the Midlands owns Dudley-based How Fire, JW Singer & Sons, IMI's former safety flow control systems business and most of the UK's steel tube production, said it would reduce reported results for fiscal 1998 through fiscal 2001 and increase them for fiscal 2002 and the first half of fiscal 2003.

Tyco's fiscal years end in September.

'What old management did was to capitalise costs to make earnings at the time higher,' said Don Yacktman, who oversees pounds 476 million at Yacktman Asset Management in Chicago, whose largest holding is Tyco. 'Current management is taking the more conservative route by putting the costs behind them, which makes current earnings look better.'

Tyco's restatement might help the many shareholders claiming Tyco misled them during Kozlowski's reign.

In a lawsuit filed this month, some investors claim Tyco inflated pre-tax profit by more than$6 billion between December 1999 and June 2002, when Kozlowski resigned as Tyco's chairman and chief executive.

'You should never be allowed to restate financial statements that would have the effect of inflating future years' earnings because basically you get two bites at the cherry,' said Albert Meyer, one of Tyco's fiercest critics and a former analyst at David W Tice & Associates who now runs 2ndopinionresearch.com.

Tyco said no new charges would be required because of the restatement, which should not hurt operating results or cash flow for the rest of fiscal 2003, or in later years.

The Bermuda-based company, which operates out of Exeter, New Hampshire, said the restatement relates to the Security and Exchange Commission's previously announced review of its filings. Tyco is in talks with the SEC over whether it should push back other charges it took in the quarter ended March 31, including $630 million related to its ADT security alarm unit.

Tyco said pre-tax charges subject to the restatement mainly include $434.5 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2003, and $261.6 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2001.

'The restatement shouldn't impact their future cash flow and earnings, which should be the main determinant of where their credit ratings will reside,' said George Meyers, a vice president and senior credit officer of Moody's Investors Service, which assigns high 'junk' grades to more than $23 billion of Tyco debt.

Since October Tyco has disclosed $2 billion of accounting-related problems. It has taken nearly $1.4 billion of pre-tax charges mostly related to accounting. Last quarter Tyco posted a net loss of $467.9 million (pounds 278.5 million).
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 18, 2003
Words:492
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