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BioLase Postpones Investor Meetings After Stock Sale Delay

The company and its outside auditor aren't commenting on why the SEC had questions about its proposed offering.

August 05, 2003|From Bloomberg News

BioLase Technology Inc., a manufacturer of dental lasers, postponed 12 investor meetings across the U.S. because of a delay in obtaining Securities and Exchange Commission approval for the company's offering of 2.5 million new shares, Chairman Federico Pignatelli said Monday.

The San Clemente-based company has decided to put off the roadshow until next month, said Jerry Brown, a managing director of Needham & Co., a managing underwriter for the stock sale. He said the delay came after a partner at BioLase's outside audit firm requested more time to study the company's finances.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, BioLase's auditor, is studying several issues, including the company's methods of accounting for revenue, Brown said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers spokesman Mike Ascolese declined to comment, citing the firm's confidentiality policy.

Pignatelli said the company's revenue accounting practices aren't being questioned, calling it an "unfounded rumor." He did not return telephone calls to his home and office asking him to explain why Brown said the postponement was because of revenue-recognition issues.

Pignatelli said the delay in regulatory approval occurred because the SEC asked the company to answer questions about the registration document BioLase filed for its proposed stock sale.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday August 06, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 1 inches; 46 words Type of Material: Correction
BioLase Technology -- An article in Tuesday's Business section about BioLase Technology Inc.'s postponing a series of investor meetings incorrectly stated that the company recorded a net loss of $669,000 in the quarter ended June 30, 2002. The company reported net income of $669,000 that quarter.

He declined to say what the SEC questions were. The registration, filed June 19, has been amended twice by the company.

BioLase postponed presentations that were scheduled to begin last week in New York and continue to cities including Kansas City, Chicago, Dallas, San Diego and Salt Lake City.

Edson Rood, chief financial officer of BioLase, said that PricewaterhouseCoopers assigned the company a new audit partner earlier this year because of the Sarbanes-Oxley law, which requires rotation of auditor partners every five years. He declined to comment on whether the company's revenue accounting policies are under review.

BioLase's flagship product is Waterlase, which dentists use to cut through bone and teeth instead of using a drill. BioLase sells the laser for $50,000.

BioLase shares, which have doubled this year, fell 50 cents to $10.95 in Nasdaq trading.

The company on July 23 reported net income of $1.7 million, or 8 cents a share, in the quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of $669,000, or 3 cents, in the year-earlier period. Sales increased 55% to $11.1 million.

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