UPDATE: Feb. 23, 2021: Granite Construction announced last week that its internal investigation into its prior-period accounting in its heavy civil division is complete, and that it has received subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In consultation with independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company concluded that its 2017, 2018 and first three quarters of 2019 consolidated financial statements and related disclosures should "no longer be relied upon," according to a statement. As a result, the California-based contractor is restating its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures for those periods.
Granite's inquiry found that it did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures due to "material weaknesses" in the heavy civil group. The company has implemented, or is in the process of implementing, its remediation plan to address the weaknesses, including making personnel and organizational changes and implementing additional oversight, training and communication programs regarding its code of conduct and project forecasting.
The company also said it is enhancing its internal controls over financial reporting.
In connection with the independent investigation, Granite contacted the SEC and subsequently received subpoenas and document requests from the SEC's Enforcement Division. The firm added it is cooperating with the commission in its investigation.
- In an announcement this week, Granite Construction released third quarter 2020 preliminary select financial information, saying that as of Sept. 30, total company committed and awarded projects stood at $4.2 billion, and that its liquidity had improved over the year. The projects include more than $1 billion of "best-value procurement work," the firm said.
- The Watsonville, California-based company also said that its internal investigation of prior-period reporting for its heavy civil operating group is “substantially complete,” and that it is evaluating the impact of the investigation on its prior statements and implementing appropriate remediation actions. It is working with its lenders to amend its credit facility and extend the Securities and Exchange Commission filing deadline for its audited 2019 financial statements to Feb. 28, 2021.
- Granite also reported that it had $550 million of available liquidity as of the end of September compared to $233 million for the same time period last year.
The announcement comes just weeks after Granite Chief Operations Officer Kyle T. Larkin was appointed president and principal executive officer, taking over from president and CEO James H. Roberts, who is retiring.
In this week's announcement, Larkin noted the challenges that are facing the company, saying that "2020 has been a difficult year on many fronts."
"Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and California wildfires, our work levels remain steady with minimal project impact, and our business continues to adapt," he said. "We are focused on completing our restated financials and filing with the SEC."
Granite's board also got a new leader this year — incoming chairman Mike McNally, former president and CEO of Skanska USA. Appointed to the Granite board in 2016, McNally has more than 35 years of construction experience and an extensive background in large, complex projects in a variety of market sectors, according to a Granite press release.
Before joining Skanska in 1998, McNally served as vice president of construction for Fluor Daniel’s Global Industrial Group. He is replacing Granite chairman Claes G. Bjork, also a retired Skanska executive.