Piper Jaffray Comments on Apple (AAPL) Option Grant Update

December 29, 2006 10:55 AM EST
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CONTRIBUTOR http://notablecalls.blogspot.com

Piper Jaffray is out with a comment on Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) after the co filed its 10-K earlier this morning outlining the findings of the internal review and independent investigation into past option practices:

Key Issue No. 1: The company indicated that CEO Steve Jobs was aware of some favorable options grant dates but did not benefit from them personally and was not aware of the accounting implications.

Key Issue No. 2: Apple indicated there was a falsified special board meeting to approve 7.5m options for Jobs, but no member of the current management team was aware of this irregularity.

The financial impact of Apple's restatement is immaterial (~2% impact) to net income over the last nine years.

Apple reiterated that its investigation and the investigation of the special committee did not find any wrongdoing by current management; firm views this as a positive given investor's concerns that this issue could lead to the removal of Steve Jobs. While this is a significant positive, they have not heard any formal comments from the SEC on this matter; given the scope of Apple's exhuastive internal investigation (reviewed >1 million documents, spent over 26,500 person-hours, and interviewed more than 40 current and former employees), the firm believes that any SEC findings would be consistent with Apple's findings.

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