NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE:NQ) has set up an independent review as promised, bringing in the law firm Shearman & Sterling to work with the forensic accounting team at Deloitte & Touche to refute allegations brought by Muddy Waters two weeks ago. NQ has also transferred another $13 million to Standard Chartered, reaching $54 million out of $100 million the company said that it would transfer as proof that it has plenty of cash on hand.
NQ Mobile retaining law firm
“NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE:NQ) moved very quickly to retain law firm Shearman & Sterling who in turn has engaged the forensic accounting group at Deloitte & Touche. NQ is now working with the following organizations across several important corporate activities,” writes Topeka Capital Markets analyst Frederick Ziegel. “The list speaks for itself.” In addition to Shearman & Sterling and Deloitte & Touche, NQ is working with law firm Skadden Arps, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), and Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) to resolve the claims against it.
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Aside from wanting to protect its share price and calm nervous investors, NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE:NQ) has to move fast because its Q3 earnings call is slated for November 12, and the Muddy Waters allegations will certainly be a high-priority item with many investors. So far, most analysts are siding with NQ. Ziegel rates the company a Buy with a price target of $33.50 compared to a share price of $14.40, which is roughly in line with consensus. We won’t know anything for sure until the independent review is complete, but the fact that NQ created one so quickly and of its own accord tells people they are confident of having done nothing wrong.
Henry Lin on NQ Mobile’s revenues
NW Co-CEO Henry Lin has also said that he thinks 2013 revenues could hit $200 million, beating the company’s current guidance of $188 million, and could go as high as $500 million by 2015. Unofficial statements like that could be intended to defend share price as much as provide additional forward guidance, but many investors do expect strong growth from NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE:NQ) in the next few years.
“Reaching $500 million in 2015 also suggests that 2014 revenues would have to be in the range of $325-$350 million versus our current estimate of $275 million,” writes Ziegel. “Hopefully, we can get some clarity on 2014 beginning with the 3Q13 earnings call on November 12.”