Auditors spoil good Lab results

Limners and Bards released full-year results with profit after taxation of $95 million, up by an impressive 52 percent from the $62 million earned in 2018 from healthy gains in revenues.
Earnings per share (EPS) works out at 12 cents for 2019 and 8 cents for 2018. Operating revenues rose 31 percent to $632 million from $483 million in 2018, the last quarter grew at a stunning 58 percent to $146 million, just below the $152 million generated in the July quarter and profit before tax of $18 million versus $16.5 million in the July quarter.
Auditors are required to check records of companies and ensure that they accord with various regulations and the financial statements which they audit and certify are free form errors and misstatements.

Kimala Bennett, Managing Director of The Lab.

The Limners and Bards financials is the latest report to indicate that there is a problem with the industry and that a number of the players are eroding the confidence investors have it the financial reports they certify. To be fair to the company auditors, they are not solely to blame. Management, including the directors, is also responsible for preventing financial with errors going out to the public, as they also have to sign off on the financials.
The computation of earnings per share is an area of problem for some of the smaller audit firms. In the past, there are instances where the calculation is wrong when there are stock splits and new share issues.
According to the Limners and Bards financial statements, the basic and diluted earnings per stock unit is 10 cents for the 2019 fiscal year and 7 cents for 2018 based on the weighted average of ordinary stock units 945,690,252 in each year. That is entirely wrong.  What are the facts? The company had 756.55 million shares in issue before the sale of 189,138,050 shares to the public in July this year with the company listing on the stock exchange on July 26. The EPS computation for 2018 is to be based on 756.6 million shares and for 2019, just over 800 million units. The company’s stock closed trading on Monday at $2.78 for a PE of 21 times 2019 earnings before tax and 14 times 2020 earnings of 20 cents per share.

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