Thursday, December 12, 2002
Steamboat Springs The first fiscal quarter of 2003 is over and American Skiing Co. has yet to release its year-end financial report for 2002. However, a company spokesman said Thursday ASC, which owns the Steamboat Ski Area, plans to release both financial statements simultaneously in January.
"We hope to get them both done the second week in January," Erik Preusse said. He oversees investor relations for the company.
ASC issued a news release this week saying the same auditing practices ruling that delayed its year-end report has caused it to alert the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will also delay its current quarterly report.
ASC's CEO Mark Miller said his company is undergoing a "re-audit" necessitated by a switch in accounting firms and the decision last March to sell Heavenly ski resort. Those changes have required ASC to re-audit its financial statements for fiscal 2001 and 2000, Miller said. He added that the re-audit is not the result of any known issues with the reports from previous years, nor with the company's current financial condition.
The year-end report and the report for the first quarter of 2003 will contain details about ASC's revenues in both its resort and real estate divisions, comparing them to the corresponding periods last year.
The first quarter, which ends in October, often generates some of the lowest revenue in ASC's annual cycle. That is typical of publicly held ski resort companies, which begin to see a resumption of revenue streams in the second quarter when they are open for business.
American Skiing retained the independent public accounting firm of KPMG LLP after Arthur Andersen LLP ceased operations last year. A recent interpretation of accounting regulations by the Auditing Standards Board requires that when a company's previous independent auditor has ceased operations and is unable to provide a report on "discontinued operations," a re-audit must take place.
The sale of Heavenly constitutes a "discontinued operation," as described in the ruling. It requires ASC to reflect Heavenly's current year results as updates to its earlier earnings reports.
KPMG and company officials are continuing to work on those updates.