Plug Power dives as the company says it will restate financial reports

Plug Power
A Plug Power forklift system.

  • Plug Power dropped by 15% Wednesday after the company said it will file financial restatements.
  • The restatements will cover fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and quarterly filings for 2019 and 2020.
  • The hydrogen-fuel cell company said there were accounting errors related to non-cash items.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Plug Power shares sharply dropped Wednesday after the hydrogen fuel-cell company said it will restate some of its financial reports because of accounting errors.

The company said the restatements will cover the fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and quarterly filings for 2019 and 2020. The errors related to several non-cash items including the reported book value of right-of-use assets.

Plug Power shares closed down by 7.9% at $39.33 after earlier sliding by as much as 20%. The stock in 2021 has bulked up by 16% and has advanced from about $3.30 over the past 12 months.

The company said it doesn’t expect the revisions to impact its cash position or business operations but will change how it accounts for certain transactions and items.

“The accounting related to the restatement is complex and technical and involves significant judgments in how to apply U.S. [Generally Accepted Accounting Principles], given the innovative nature of the company’s business,” in a “new and rapidly developing industry,” Plug Power said in a press release.

The company said it had discussed its fourth-quarter 2020 and preliminary year-end results with its audit committee and its auditor KMPG before their release “and at that time, no material issues were raised.” But after the release, it said that it and KPMG identified the need for restatements.

Plug Power said it will file its Form 10-K for 2020 as soon as possible as it was unable to make the March 16 deadline.

It also expects to reach its previously stated gross billings targets of $475 million in 2021, $750 million in 2022 and $1.7 billion in 2024.

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Bank of America, KPMG, Mastercard, and some 60 other top companies adopt new ESG metrics

Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America.
Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America.

  • Some 60 major companies have agreed to adopt a new ESG reporting framework. 
  • ESGs are metrics that measure a company’s environmental, social, and governance progress. 
  • The effort is being led by the World Economic Forum and the International Business Council, run by Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Executives from Bank of America, Mastercard, KPMG, and about 60 other large companies announced Tuesday they’ll be adopting a new reporting framework for environmental, social, and governance standards (ESGs) in partnership with the World Economic Forum. 

Other companies that have signed on to this reporting framework include Salesforce, Unilever, Dell, and Sony. 

ESG standards are a set of criteria used to measure a company’s performance on things such as how the company is impacting the environment (like its amount of toxic emissions), how it manages relationships with its employees (does it encourage employees to volunteer), and how the company runs internally (boardroom diversity).

If widely adopted, these standards, called “Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics,” have the potential to transform what it means to operate a large corporation. It could make it standard procedure for a major company to report its ESG metrics, just like it’s standard (in fact, required) for a company to report on its financial metrics. 

Many in the business community see ESG metrics as a concrete way to advance stakeholder capitalism, the leading economic theory today that says companies are responsible to all stakeholders, including their employees, customers, the environment, as well as their shareholders. 

“We have to deliver great returns for our shareholders and help drive progress on society’s most important priorities,” Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, and chairman of the International Business Council, said in a statement. “That is stakeholder capitalism in action.”

The next step in a trend

In September, the World Economic Forum and the International Business Council (IBC), run by Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, partnered with “the Big Four” accounting firms to create the reporting framework of 21 ESG standards. The big four – Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG – provide financial auditing and other professional services. 

Insider recently spoke with Klaus Schwab, World Economic founder and executive chairman, about the more than 60 companies signing on to these metrics. 

“At the moment you have a situation where a company reports mainly about their intentions. Now we have to walk the talk,” he said. 

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