Calpine Restates Earnings for 3 Years, Raises Reported Debt

From Bloomberg News

California energy producer Calpine Corp. on Monday reduced earnings per share over three years and increased reported debt by 5% after a new audit.

The audit's subsequent accounting changes will wipe out $52 million in profit reported during the last three years.

Calpine, which owns power plants in 23 states, reduced net income by a total of 14 cents a share for 2000 through 2002, cutting earnings last year to $119 million, or 33 cents a share, from $142 million, or 39 cents, as first reported. It also raised company debt as of Dec. 31 to $14.1 billion from $13.4 billion.

Deloitte & Touche, which Calpine brought in last year after firing accounting firm Arthur Andersen, found in a re-audit that supply contracts at two Calpine power plants should be accounted for as financings rather than operating leases.

Calpine Chief Financial Officer Robert D. Kelly said the accounting changes won't accelerate debt payments or reduce cash flow.

"Any restatement is unfortunate," said Standard & Poor's analyst Craig Shere. Still, "it doesn't trigger any debt covenants, and should increase earnings in later years" as costs fall, he said.

Calpine, headquartered in San Jose, reaffirmed its 2003 profit forecast of 40 cents to 50 cents a share.

Shares in the company rose 7 cents to $2.86 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have fallen 61% in a year.

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