Volkswagen delays earnings report, can't put a cost on emissions scandal

Under the hood of Volkswagen culture
Under the hood of Volkswagen culture

Volkswagen is still trying to figure out how damaging its diesel emissions scandal will be for investors.

The automaker said Friday it was pushing back its annual earnings report, which had been expected March 10.

A new reporting date will be announced as soon as possible, Volkswagen said. It is also pushing back its annual shareholder meeting, which was scheduled for April 21.

The delay will not affect the release of Volkswagen's investigation into what went wrong. The company still expects to publish those findings in the second half of April.

Related: Toyota fends off scandal-plagued VW in global sales race

Volkswagen has admitted to installing software in some of its diesel-powered cars that alters the engines' performance when being tested for emissions. The effect was to make the vehicles appear cleaner than they were on the road.

It has apologized, and suspended 9 managers.

Volkswagen said it expected operating earnings to be on par with the prior year. But that doesn't take into account special items, including fines and penalties.

The company has already been forced to take a charge of 6.7 billion euros related to the cost of recalling and fixing as many as 11 million vehicles. Analysts say the final bill could total tens of billions of euros.

The company is being sued by U.S. authorities. If the maximum fines are applied, they could total $18 billion.

Volkswagen has begun recalling and fixing cars in Europe, where some 8 million vehicles are affected, but it has yet to find a fix that will satisfy U.S. regulators.

And it may yet have to buy back some of the 575,000 vehicles that it rigged in the U.S.

Shares gained nearly 3% on Friday but have lost 17% so far this year, and 43% in the last 12 months.

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