Apple option backdating scandal

He's been an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and a portfolio lead analyst for Motley Fool Supernova since each newsletter service's inception.

He earned his BBA and MBA from the University of Miami, and he splits his time living in Miami, Florida and Celebration, Florida.

In the context of mutual funds, a feature allowing fundholders to use an earlier date on a letter of intent to invest in a mutual fund in exchange for a reduced sales charge, e.g.

apple option backdating scandal-22apple option backdating scandal-85

However, it can be permissible under certain circumstances.

For instance, one may backdate an insurance claim if there was an unavoidable delay between the date the insured event occurred and the day the claim was made.

The news, centered on the dubious awarding of stock options to Steve Jobs, prompts Apple share prices to fall.

Some people even suggest Jobs might have to step down as Apple CEO. Stock options are frequently tied into executives’ compensation, giving them the option of purchasing a certain amount of stock at a set price.

The lower this “strike price” is, the cheaper the executive can buy the stock.

When these options “vest” after a period of time, the executive can sell them at the new share price.

The underhanded practice has become an epidemic, as more and more companies are accused of pegging grants to recent market lows instead of current prices.

More than 50 companies are now involved in some form of investigation for mishandling their stock options. Last night, For Apple, restating distant financials that won't affect the company's current fiscal state may not seem like much of a blow. The repercussions could get even worse if this scandal rattles investor faith in the market as a whole.

CNET newsletter service pick -- did the same thing back in May. That may make the mishandling appear brutally damaging, but it's not that horrific.

Tags: , ,