Matrix Service Co. reschedules earnings, delays annual report due to fraud probe

By Tom Krisher, AP
Monday, September 13, 2010

Fraud probe delays Matrix Service earnings release

DETROIT — Shares of Matrix Service Co. fell nearly 4 percent Monday after the company’s announcement that it would delay its earnings release and seek additional time to file its annual report due to a fraud investigation.

The Tulsa, Okla.-based Matrix on Friday said it will delay release of its fourth-quarter earnings that had been scheduled for Monday. It also disclosed that it will ask the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to wait until on or before Sept. 28 for the annual report for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The report had been due on Monday.

Matrix, which provides industrial construction, repair and maintenance services for the energy industry, said in a statement that the fraud case was recently discovered in one of its operating locations in the U.S. and involved current and former employees. The current employees have been suspended without pay pending the investigation, the company said in a statement issued Friday.

Chief Financial Officer Tom Long said Monday he could not give further details about the fraud case until the investigation is completed. The company has not notified authorities about the case but will do so if the investigation finds that it’s warranted, he said.

“It has happened so recently that we’re in the middle of the investigation,” he said. “We want to make sure we protect our rights for prosecuting.”

Long said the company does not believe the fraud case will have a material impact on its earnings, but the company delayed its earnings release and annual report to make sure they are complete.

Matrix said in a statement that it believes the investigation will be done so it can file its annual report on or before Sept. 28, but said it is possible that the it may not meet the extended filing deadline.

The statement said Matrix would announce its earnings release date at a later time.

Shares of the company fell 36 cents to $8.95 in afternoon trading.

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