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March 14, 2017

Troubled Toshiba misses deadline to report earnings. Again.

For the second time in as many months, Toshiba has missed its earnings report deadline, citing "difficult circumstances."

The struggling Japanese conglomerate asked to extend the deadline to April 11, saying on Tuesday that it needs more time to investigate ongoing troubles at its U.S. nuclear business.

Toshiba had already received a four-week extension following a manic earnings release last month, when the company reported a $6.3 billion writedown at its U.S. nuclear business, stemming from its 2015 acquisition of nuclear construction business CB&I Stone and Webster.

The acquisition was supposed to help the company's U.S. subsidiary Westinghouse complete nuclear reactor projects in Georgia and South Carolina. But the U.S. projects are running way over budget and behind schedule.

Now, Toshiba says Westinghouse senior managers exerted "inappropriate pressures" to push through the takeover. It is also investigating concerns about the accounting process at the U.S. nuclear division.

The company's chairman, Shigenori Shiga, resigned last month to take responsibility for the widening crisis.

Toshiba shares were down 8% midday Tuesday and have more than halved in value since news of the nuclear problems first emerged.

The company has said it's considering selling a stake in its memory chip business to raise funds.

Toshiba is an iconic Japanese company. It made the country's first light bulb and manufactured Japan's first electric washing machines and refrigerators. It now makes everything from TVs to memory chips, and had turned to nuclear plant construction to try to help it recover in the wake of a massive $1.2 billion accounting scandal.

There were signs of a turnaround last year, when Toshiba reported earnings of 115 billion yen ($977 million) through the first six months of its 2016 financial year.

But now the company is back on shaky ground, and Toshiba admits the huge investment in the nuclear business may have been another misstep.

"We may revise the positioning of nuclear business in the future if it's needed," CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa said in December.

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