BusinessCompany NewsApple bruised by options scandal

Apple bruised by options scandal

Software giant admits that backdating furore has led to a restatement of its figures, delaying its results publication

An options backdating issue at
Apple Computers has forced the
company to postpone release of its financial results.

The electronics heavyweight is one of a string of high-profile companies that
have uncovered instances of the practice, which gives an inflated estimate of an
options grant’s worth by using a date with a low stock value as the reference
point. 

Hundreds of companies are under investigation by the US authorities. In the
wake of the probes, which some companies have launched internally, earnings have
had to be restated and some top executives have been axed. 

Apple chief exec Steve
Jobs
was cleared of any wrongdoing when it conducted its own investigation,
because although the company detailed his awareness of ‘a few instances’ of
backdating between 1997 and 2002, he had no knowledge of the practice’s
implications on accounting – and made no personal gain from the backdated
grants, the FT reported. 

The company is now in the process of finalising its restatement, but could
not specify the size of the adjustment or the time span covered by the
investigation.

Further reading:

CFO pleads guilty to fraud in stock options
case
 

Heads roll over stock option scandal 

Report backs auditors in US stock
scandal

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