Feeds

Apple, CA investigate share option grants

Back pedalling over backdating

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Apple and CA are both investigating mishandling of the choice stock options dished out to top executives.

Both companies said yesterday that potential irregularities which could have tainted the firms' accounts had been discovered by auditors.

A statement from Apple said: "One of the grants in question was to CEO Steve Jobs, but it was subsequently cancelled and resulted in no financial gain to the CEO." Jobs relinquished his fat option package in 2003 after Apple shares had tumbled on Wall Street. The firm did not reveal which other top brass got the suspicious options.

Jobs said: "Apple is a quality company, and we are proactively and transparently disclosing what we have discovered to the SEC."

It's thought the difficulties could relate to the practice of "backdating", whereby share options' initial value is chosen from a time when company stock was waning. Since options only become valuable as stock rises above the award price, backdating means the exec will make a bigger profit when he comes to sell. It's not illegal in itself, but authorities become interested if it causes employees compensation to be under reported, exaggerating profits and potentially lowering the tax bill.

CA meanwhile, facing yet another accounting mess to sort, has had to delay filing its 10-K form to the SEC, missing the June 29 deadline it had already extended from June 14.

A statement from the firm said: "The company believes that in fiscal years prior to 2002, the company did not communicate stock option grants to individual employees in a timely manner."

CA's statement points to backdating as the source of the trouble. It continues: "These delays could result in the need to recognize additional non-cash stock compensation expense over the vesting periods related to such grants."

CA CEO John Swainson said: "We are disappointed that we cannot file our 10-K to meet the extended deadline and that we continue to find problems associated with CA's past. However, delaying the filing is our only option until we understand the full impact of the legacy stock option issue and any potential financial adjustments."

CA shares have nosedived 28 per cent since January 24 when it reported $16m in Q3 losses. The preliminary 8-K form the firm filed yesterday revealed a Q4 loss of $36m.

Two lesser Silicon Valley players, Quicken developer Intuit and data centre provider Equinix, also said this week that they'd been subpoenaed by the SEC over their option dealings. Read their statements here and here.

The regulator is carrying out a big investigation into stock options, and has so far issued subpoenas to 57 companies according to AP. Nearly half are reportedly located in the Silicon Valley area.®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.