Kraft Heinz, the American food giant, has plummeted to 28% in the opening of the stock market on Friday, to reach 30 euros per share against the 42 euros recorded at the end of the park on Thursday. The company has admitted that it received a citation in October to be investigated by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) about its accounting and its internal controls. The multinational also reported this Thursday night that, "depending on several factors that occurred in the fourth quarter," has carried out a downward adjustment in the value of certain intangible assets that has caused an extraordinary negative impact of 13,576 million euros, which translated into a negative net result of 11,117 million at the end of the quarter.
This collapse of the price of Kraft Heinz could pass an invoice of more than 3.876 million euros in a single session to the main shareholder of the company, Berkshire Hathaway, the investment vehicle of Warren Buffett, owner of 325.6 million shares of the company, around 27% of the share capital.
According to the digital version of the newspaper Financial Times, the company has announced that it has already opened its own investigation. "The company is implementing improvements in its internal controls and has taken other measures," the group said. As a result of these inquiries, the firm has found an accounting gap of 22 million euros in the sale of products.
The company has indicated that it is cooperating with the US regulator. Kraf Heinz has also announced a dividend cut to 0.35 euros per quarter and 1.41 euros per year compared to 2.20 euros recorded the previous year. These facts represent a new setback for the company, which has had to face the change in consumer tastes, intense competition and changes in distribution.
In the whole of 2018, Kraft Heinz recorded losses of 9,019 million euros, compared to the net profit of 7,055 million euros in 2017, while sales of the multinational reached 23,153 million euros, 0.7% more than a year before.
Kraft Heinz is one of the largest food groups in the world, result of the merger of Kraft with Heinz in 2015, an operation promoted by Warren Buffett through Berkshire Hathaway, its first shareholder, and with the support of the 3G Capital firm.