Company's accounting practices in question

Gemstar-TV Guide Intl. said Monday that it’s under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Pasadena-based company, which publishes TV Guide and markets electronic TV-programming guides, has been besieged in recent months by questions involving its accounting practices. Gemstar said the SEC issued a formal order of investigation Oct. 17.

“The company previously disclosed it has been in discussions with the SEC regarding the company’s recently completed internal accounting review,” Gemstar noted in its press statement.

“By formalizing this previously informal discussion, the SEC will have the ability to subpoena individuals and entities in order to gather more information. The company intends to fully cooperate with the SEC as it moves forward in its process.”

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. owns 42% of Gemstar’s stock, which is down 87% this year. Nasdaq recently notified the company of a delisting review after the delay of its second-quarter earnings, prompted in part by a review of legal costs in a patent dispute.

The revelation of an SEC probe came after the close of market trading, as Gemstar shares closed up 1¢ at $3.66.

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