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Nvidia opens books for SEC

Question of timing

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Nvidia is conducting a review of accounting practices, in response to a 'request' from the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC).

In monetary terms, it all seems like pretty small potatoes: Nvidia cites the possibility that product expenses of $3.6m recorded in Q2 and Q3 of fiscal 2000, should have been recorded in Q1.

The SEC is questioning the timing of the recording of certain expenses, and the recording of certain reserves. It will get interesting for shareholders - and class actions - only if the investigation reveals profit 'smoothing' i.e. the timing of expenses and reserves are deliberately controlled to show unbroken quarterly profits growth.

The investigation was prompted by Nvidia documents released to the SEC in its recent investigation of insider trading conducted by a ring of former employees of the graphic chips company. ®

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