Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/30/nvidia_stock_probe_charge/

Nvidia takes $127m stock-option probe charge

Won't affect operating results, apparently

By Tony Smith

Posted in Hardware, 30th November 2006 10:35 GMT

Nvidia has said it will take a $127m non-cash hit as a result of the past stock-option irregularities the company earlier this year announced it had discovered. This month the graphics chip maker said the impact could be as much as $150m.

The company also restated its FY2006 financial results and those of the first two quarters of FY2007 - Q2 FY2007 ended on 30 July 2006 - but re-iterated its earlier claim that the changes would have no material impact on its operating results.

Nvidia said it would continue to co-operate with a US Securities and Exchange Commission enquiry into the matter. The company began its own investigation in August this year. It's not the only one: quite a few tech companies - Apple, CA, Rambus, McAfee, Cnet and others - have all launched similar investigations, some of which have see senior executives fall from grace and out of their jobs.

The issue centres on back-dating stock options to times when the share price was lower than at the time of the award - essentially allowing staff to claim more shares than they might otherwise be able to take. Deemed unfair to shareholders, the practice was effectively outlawed by the US' Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance legislation. ®