Apple stock options scandal?  What scandal?

“It’s been a turbulent summer for Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs. On June 29, the company said an internal investigation had uncovered problems with several stock option grants. In the ever-growing scandal surrounding backdated stock options, Apple was one of the largest firms to report irregularities,” Hannah Clark reports for Forbes.

“The stock fell 2.9% the following day, to $57.27, and drifted downward for two weeks. Then it turned around. By the time Apple reported earnings July 20, the shares topped $60. They closed at $69.59 on Aug. 3, and the summer seemed to be looking up,” Clark reports. “Then Aug. 4 arrived. Apple announced that it will ‘likely’ need to restate financial results as far back as 2002. Because of its expanding investigation, Apple will not file its latest quarterly report on time. Headlines blared. The news led that morning’s “What’s News” column in The Wall Street Journal. But the stock fell only 1.85% Friday, closing at $68.30.”

“Why aren’t shareholders running scared? Investors seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach. “The economic consequences of backdating aren’t yet clear for most companies,” says Harvey Pitt, chief executive of consulting firm Kalorama Partners and former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. For the most part, investors don’t know who will be prosecuted, who will be sued, who will restate earnings and which CEOs may resign or be fired,” Clark reports.

Clark reports, “Jobs isn’t likely to lose his job. Though he received one of the misdated grants, it was later canceled, and he never profited from it. He hasn’t been on the compensation committee since becoming chief executive in 1997, and he doesn’t focus on day-to-day financial issues, Gardner says. After all, no one is suggesting that Apple has anything in common with Enron. For many of the companies implicated in the backdating scandal, their woes have nothing to do with any operating weakness. The headlines may blare and the regulators may rumble, but most implicated firms won’t suffer permanent damage as long as they don’t lose any senior executives.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Class action lawsuit over stock options filed against Apple Computer, Inc. – August 04, 2006
Wall Street forgiving of Apple’s stock option irregularities; CEO Jobs unlikely to be terminated – August 04, 2006
Apple’s stock option irregularities escalate into a scandal as world awaits Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote – August 04, 2006
Apple warns of profit restatement dating back to 2002 – August 04, 2006
Apple loses 3.5% to $67.15 in premarket trading – August 04, 2006
Apple announces update regarding stock option grants – August 03, 2006
Shareholder’s options suit against Apple alleges ‘striking pattern that could not have been chance’ – July 11, 2006
Apple announces update regarding stock option grants – July 05, 2006
UBS: stock options probe unlikely to hurt Apple – June 30, 2006
Apple joins growing list of companies entangled in stock option ‘irregularities’ – June 29, 2006
Apple to investigate stock option grant ‘irregularities’ made between 1997 and 2001 – June 29, 2006

9 Comments

  1. As an AAPL owner, these irregularities don’t bother me. It appears that Apple is being transparent in their finding, the findings don’t point to malicious intent or material changes to compensation and therefore, I am much more concerned that Apple continue to dominate digital media at the same time releasing quality hardware and software.

    Were this to become an issue AGAIN in a few years, I would be more suspicious.

  2. I think if there was any scandal Apple would not have admitted they found errors with there options so quickly. The openly released information saying that they did find some problems and were coperating so they could resolve them. People are trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill especially when many other tech companies are in the same boat, not just Apple.

  3. Dirty Pierre le Punk said:
    “It can’t be easy living on a one dollar salary so we should all feel sorry for Steve having to live on stock options charity in order to survive.”

    I don’t think Steve has any money problems what with his other company, a little animation studio named Pixar.

  4. I’m sure a few heads have rolled, or will roll, over this. A couple of people might go to jail. Quite a few others will have to – like Apple itself – make arrangements with the IRS to straighten out the finances. This isn’t, by any stretch, likely to have significant impact on the company itself. Unless, that is, proof is found that Steve Jobs was complicit in the part of the scheme deemed “criminal”. Forcing him out of the picture would have a significant impact on the fortunes of the company, going forward. Five or ten years down the line Apple would be barely distinguishable from other PC makers.

    My opinion.

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