Tag: disclosure of material trends

SEC charges company for failure to disclose material trends

The SEC has just settled an action against Diageo PLC, a producer of liquor, wine and beer, for failure to disclose known trends and uncertainties.  Diageo’s omission resulted in materially misleading disclosures regarding its financial results and material inflation of key performance indicators—organic net sales growth and organic operating profit growth.  It’s worth noting that the SEC has not been reluctant to take enforcement action against companies that have misled investors by inflating KPIs, such as subscriber counts, revenue-per-subscriber, number of vehicles sold monthly, net new customers added, backlog and now organic net sales growth and organic operating profit growth. These types of metrics—typically outside of the financial statements—are metrics on which investors and analysts often rely to assess performance, and companies have been held to account if their presentations are materially inaccurate or misleading or the related controls are inadequate.