Friday, May 12, 2006

Options Backdating Update

Well, it didn't take long for my prediction in yesterday's post -- that we would be hearing more about options backdating -- to be proven correct. Today's Wall Street Journal has a front page article (via wsj.com, subscription required) reporting that United Health Group has warned that it may need to restate three years of financials because of "significant deficiencies" in how the company administered options grants. The article also reports that Brooks Automation will restate seven years of financial statements because it believes it recognized too little compensation expense for options granted to executives. The article is accompanied by a graphic entitled "Key Companies in Options Probes" describing options inquiries at seven companies. The article also states that the SEC has "ramped up its investigation" of options grants and that the SEC is "now conducting reviews of about 20 companies."

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