In the Wirecard stock market thriller the situation deteriorated further on Thursday: After the payment service provider had announced that due to billion-dollar uncertainties in the balance sheet, it would again be unable to present its annual financial statements, the company’s shares went into a spectacular nosedive. After several trade interruptions, the shares had lost around two-thirds of its value and reached its lowest level since June 2016 at EUR 35.
At 2pm, the shares were the clear bottom of the weaker leading index Dax still around 61 percent in minus at 64.00 euros.
The commissioned auditing firm EY had informed Wirecard (ETR:WDI)that the existence of bank balances on trust accounts in the amount of 1.9 billion euros was not sufficiently verified. “EY’s information about the lack of audit evidence of approximately 25 percent of the Group’s total assets is a resounding slap in the face for shareholders,” said market expert Andreas Lipkow from Comdirect Bank.
According to Lipkow, Wirecard “simply did not manage to clarify the matter properly”. This means that the balance sheet scandal is actually entering a new round and calls for a review of positions on the board are likely to become louder again.
At the Dax Group, central questions remained unanswered after a special audit on allegations of balance sheet fraud. In their report for the financial years 2016 to 2018, KPMG’s auditors reported in their report at the end of April that essential documents were missing – mainly on business with third-party companies. For this reason, the KPMG auditors could not determine whether the corresponding bookings also correspond to real sales.
Investors were nervous before the long-awaited submission of the 2019 balance sheet, which was actually planned and expected this Thursday, but hardly anyone had expected such a negative surprise.
Analysts found clear words: “The last little bit of investor confidence that is still left should now be gambled away. The overall situation at Wirecard can only be described as unsustainable,” wrote expert Wolfgang Donie from NordLB.
The US investment bank Morgan Stanley’s expert Adam Wood pointed out that lines of credit could be terminated if EY’s auditor’s certificate was not received by tomorrow Friday. This puts the focus on the Group’s liquidity.
The consequences of the price slide for Wirecard could now be far-reaching: If the share certificates do not recover sustainably by September, there is a risk of being kicked out of the first stock exchange league. This is the conclusion reached by index experts. The flavor and fragrance manufacturer Symrise is likely to be the successor and the online food delivery company Delivery Hero , one of the great profiteers in the Corona crisis, deliver a head-to-head race.
Wirecard now wants to file criminal charges against unknown persons. The company sees itself as a possible victim of a “gigantic fraud”. According to a corporate spokesman, there are indications that the auditor has been presented with “incorrect balance confirmations for deception” by a trustee or from the area of banks that hold the trust accounts.