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    DJ Companies Responding To Stock Option Investigations (9/1)

    09/01/2006
    Dow Jones News Services
    (Copyright © 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)


    DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

    Government and corporate investigations of stock-option granting practices have accelerated, with many companies reporting regulatory or internal probes.

    Questions about the timing of executive options have rocked dozens of companies.

    A statistical examination by The Wall Street Journal found a number of companies with highly improbable patterns of options grants, similar to those of some companies already facing scrutiny from federal authorities.

    An evaluations by the Center of Financial Research and Analysis, a Rockville, Md., accounting-research firm found several companies whose trading histories suggested a high risk of having backdated options, while a report from research firm Glass, Lewis & Co. named more than 45 companies that have delayed their recent quarterly reports because they were investigating their historical stock-options grants.

    In response to these and other reports, many companies have begun examining their own stock-option granting practices to ensure backdating didn't occur.

    In the past week, some companies cited in investigations or those that have engaged internal investigations have responded.

    Below are some of their responses:

    Cyberonics Inc. (CYBX) said in a Friday Securities and Exchange Commission filing it would delay its first-quarter report due to an ongoing internal review of past stock-options grants. The Houston company previously disclosed that the SEC was conducting an informal inquiry into its options grants and it received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York related to the grants.

    MIPS Technologies Inc. (MIPS) late Wednesday said its board formed a special committee of independent directors to review the company's option-grant practices and accounting. The Mountain View, Calif., provider of processor architectures and cores added that it may miss the Sept. 13 deadline for filing its fiscal 2006 10-K.

    On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that the first two executives ensnared in the nation's stock options scandal, both of which were employed by Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (BRCD), pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges of making false statements to securities regulators, falsifying records and other charges. Gregory Reyes, former chief executive of Brocade and Stephanie Jensen, Brocade's former vice president of human resources, were originally charged with one count each of securities fraud in a criminal complaint on July 20 and indicted with additional charges Aug. 10.

    THQ Inc. (THQI) said Wednesday a shareholder derivative suit alleging improprieties in stock-option grants was filed against the company's board and some current and former officers. The video game maker said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission it was reviewing the allegations and would "respond appropriately." Earlier this month, THQ announced it was the subject of an informal inquiry by the SEC into its stock-option grants since Jan. 1, 1996.

    Meade Instruments Corp. (MEAD) Tuesday evening said a special committee concluded that the accounting measurement dates for certain stock-option awards during fiscal 1998 through 2005 were determined in error, and its financial results should no longer be relied upon for fiscal 2001 through fiscal 2005, as well as 2005's quarters ended in May, August and November. Meade expects to record additional non-cash, pretax, stock-based compensation expenses of $3.5 million to $4 million. The company added the committee didn't find any evidence that stock options were "backdated" to coincide with low stock prices.

    Novell Inc. (NOVL) late Tuesday said it began an internal review of its past stock-option grants and related accounting, and may not be able to file its quarterly results with regulators on time as a result. The company said it began a voluntary review of its past practices and accounting for stock-based compensation following news about the options practices of other companies.

    Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) disclosed Tuesday it received a subpoena from the the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for documents regarding its stock-option practices. The bookstore operator said in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to cooperate fully in responding to the subpoena, which it received Friday.

    Par Pharmaceutical Cos. (PRX) said Monday it and certain directors and executive officers are facing a derivative lawsuit alleging stock-option backdating. The suit also includes allegations similar to those in class-action suits filed last month, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

    Affymetrix Inc. (AFFX) said Monday it received a default notice from some note holders Aug. 17 regarding its $120 million, 0.75% senior convertible notes due 2033. The Santa Clara, Calif., company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the default notice relates to its delay in filing its 10Q for the quarter ended June 30. On Aug. 9, Affymetrix filed with the SEC to delay the submission of its second-quarter report because of a restatement to its financial statements for some options granted between 1997 and 1999.

    Rackable Systems Inc. (RACK) Monday filed an amended first-quarter report to correct errors related to stock options. The Milpitas, Calif., company didn't report any changes to net income or revenue figures. According to a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the total intrinsic value of options exercised during the quarter ended March 31 was $27 million, and not the $2.8 million previously reported.

    Clorox Co. (CLX) said in its annual report on Aug. 25 that a derivative lawsuit was filed Aug. 4 relating to a $16 million non-cash compensation expense it recorded in the fourth quarter following a review of its stock option practices. The Oakland, Calif., consumer products company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the lawsuit, submitted in the Superior Court of California of Alameda County, alleges breach of fiduciary duties and waste of corporate assets.

    First American Corp. (FAF) said it will pay members of a special stock-option review panel $2,000 for each meeting they attend, the company said Aug. 25 in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. In August, the Santa Ana, Calif., business information provider said it may need to record additional non-cash charges for stock-based compensation expense for certain past periods, but it wasn't able to determine the amount of the charges.

    Corinthian Colleges Inc. (COCO) said Aug. 25 it wouldn't be able to report fourth-quarter earnings as scheduled on Aug. 29, as it hasn't completed a review of its historic stock option grants. The Santa Ana, Calif., post-secondary education company said it expects to report results for the quarter ending in June in mid-September.

    KB Home (KBH) said Aug. 24 it was notified by the Securities and Exchange Commission that the agency will conduct an informal inquiry into the company's stock-option grants. The Los Angeles homebuilder said it plans to fully cooperate with the SEC. The notification came about a day after KB Home said it was reviewing stock-option grants given to Chief Executive Bruce Karatz.


    (MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

    09-01-06 1337ET

    Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

    DJ Companies Responding To Stk Option Investigations(9/1) -2-


    The following is a list of all the companies that have commented on the stock option investigations:


    Activision Inc. (ATVI)

    Affiliated Computer Services Inc. (ACS)

    Alkermes Inc. (ALKS)

    Altera Corp. (ALTR)

    American Tower Corp. (AMT)

    Amkor Technology Inc. (AMKR)

    Analog Devices Inc. (ADI)

    Apollo Group Inc. (APOL)

    Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL)

    Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC)

    ArthroCare Corp. (ARTC)

    Asyst Technologies Inc. (ASYT)

    Atmel Corp. (ATML)

    Autodesk Inc. (ADSK)

    BEA Systems Inc. (BEAS)

    Blue Coat Systems Inc. (BCSI)

    Boston Communications Group Inc. (BCGI)

    Broadcom Corp. (BRCM)

    Brooks Automation Inc. (BRKS)

    CA Inc. (CA)

    Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC)

    Caremark Rx Inc. (CMX)

    CEC Entertainment Inc. (CEC)

    Ceradyne Inc. (CRDN)

    Cheesecake Factory Inc. (CAKE)

    Chordiant Software Inc. (CHRD)

    Clorox Co. (CLX)

    CNET Networks Inc. (CNET)

    Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC)

    Comverse Technology Inc. (CMVT)

    Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI)

    Delta Petroleum Corp. (DPTR)

    Dot Hill Systems Corp. (HILL)

    DRS Technologies Inc. (DRS)

    Endocare Inc. (ENDO)

    EPlus Inc. (PLUS)

    Equinix Inc. (EQIX)

    F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV)

    Foundry Networks Inc. (FDRY)

    Fresenius Medical Care AG KGAA (FMS)

    Greater Bay Bancorp (GBBK)

    Green Mountain Capital Inc. (GMOC)

    HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. (HCC)

    Home Depot Inc. (HD)

    Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (ISSI)

    Intuit Inc. (INTU)

    J2 Global Communications Inc. (JCOM)

    Jabil Circuit Inc. (JBL)

    Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR)

    Keithley Instruments Inc. (KEI)

    KLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC)

    Knobias Inc. (KNBS)

    KOS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (KOSP)

    L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL)

    Linear Technology Corp. (LLTC)

    Macrovision Corp. (MVSN)

    Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL)

    Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (MXIM)

    McAfee Inc. (MFE)

    MDC Partners Inc. (MDCA)

    Medarex Inc. (MEDX)

    Mercury Interactive Corp. (MERQ)

    Michaels Stores Inc. (MIK)

    Microislet Inc. (MII)

    Microtune Inc. (TUNE)

    Molex Inc. (MOLX)

    Monster Worldwide Inc. (MNST)

    M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. (FLSH)

    Newpak Resources Inc. (NR)

    Novellus Systems Inc. (NVLS)

    Nvidia Corp. (NVDA)

    Openwave Systems Inc. (OPWV)

    Pediatrix Medical Group Inc. (PDX)

    PMC-Sierra Inc. (PMCS)

    Pool Corp. (POOL)

    Power Integrations Inc. (POWI)

    Progress Software Corp. (PRGS)

    Quest Software Inc. (QSFT)

    QuickLogic Corp. (QUIK)

    Rambus Inc. (RMBS)

    Redback Networks Inc. (RBAK)

    RSA Security Inc. (RSAS)

    SafeNet Inc. (SFNT)

    Sanmina-Sci Corp. (SANM)

    Sapient Corp. (SAPE)

    Semtech Corp. (SMTC)

    Sepracor Inc. (SEPR)

    Sigma Designs Inc. (SIGM)

    Sonus Networks Inc. (SONS)

    SPSS Inc. (SPSS)

    Stolt-Nielsen S.A. (SNSA)

    Sycamore Networks Inc. (SCMR)

    Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO)

    Tetra Tech Inc. (TTEK)

    Trident Microsystems Inc. (TRID)

    Ulticom Inc. (ULCM)

    UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH)

    Verint Systems Inc. (VRNT)

    VeriSign Inc. (VRSN)

    Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (VTSS)

    Western Digital Corp. (WDC)

    Witness Systems Inc. (WITS)

    Xilinx Inc. (XLNX)

    Zoran Corp. (ZRAN)

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    (END) Dow Jones Newswires

    09-01-06 1337ET

    Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.