Marvell's shaky accounting draws the attention of the US government

Marvell has released preliminary financial results for its fiscal third quarter, as well as its finalized results from the second quarter. In its report, Marvell disclosed that it's under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Justice Department because it hasn't been compliant with SEC reporting obligations recently.

In September, Marvell reported a preliminary $393 million loss in its fiscal second quarter, thanks in part to a $394 million charge related to losing a 2012 patent suit by Carnegie Mellon University. The revised report shows that Marvell's second-quarter loss has now widened to $417 million, thanks to a $15 million inventory write-down of mobile handset chips, a $3.5 million income tax benefit reduction, and $2.1 million in other charges. 

Marvell calls its financial results for the third quarter preliminary, too. The company says it lost $62 million on $674 million in revenues. Revenues were down 28% compared to a year ago. The company cited lower demand for its storage, mobile computing, and networking controllers. SSD controller demand was up slightly compared to a year ago, but that increased demand wasn't enough to offset the decline in hard drive controller shipments. 

As part of its report, the company says it's being investigated by the SEC and the Justice Department because of an internal board audit it opened earlier this year. A Marvell representative told the Wall Street Journal that "it is common for governmental agencies to open investigations in these circumstances." The company says it's voluntarily cooperating with these investigations "in hopes of resolving their inquiries in a timely fashion." 

Marvell admits that it has not been compliant with its SEC and NASDAQ reporting obligations. In documents filed with the SEC, the company has submitted a plan to get its financial house in order by March, 2016. According to the documents, Marvell will remain listed on the exchange while it gets back into compliance. 

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