Cramer's real worry for a battered Salix: An audit committee

Things are not looking up for Salix Pharmaceuticals, which saw shares plummet nearly 40 percent in mid-morning trade on Friday, CNBC's Jim Cramer said.

The drugmaker on Thursday delivered disappointing earnings results and slashed its full-year forecast as its inventory for key drugs piled up. The issue dissuaded Allergan from acquiring Salix, people familiar with the matter said.

Meanwhile, Salix's CEO Carolyn J. Logan has indicated there will be an audit committee review and the board of directors has retained outside counsel, Cramer noted.

"Typically when that happens, it means it's a Sarbanes-Oxley violation," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street," referring to the federal law that pertains to accounting practices.

"The audit committee is going to be running this company for a little bit ... until they figure out what went wrong," Cramer said. "These outside directors, which is that committee, are very concerned. You hire outside counsel basically because the SEC is going to be heavily involved."

Jim Cramer
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Jim Cramer

By the way, the SEC is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a federal agency that has authority from Congress to bring civil enforcement actions against those alleged to have committed accounting fraud or other possible violations of securities law.

In any event, Salix suffered its biggest one-day drop on Friday. More than 12.4 million shares exchanged hands in early trading, more than six times its 50-day average of almost 2 million.

Salix did not immediately return a request for comment.

—Reuters contributed to this report

DISCLOSURE: When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust did not own Allergan or Salix Pharmaceuticals.