Aug articles on stock option backdating

New rules under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have reduced the practice to 10% of the companies granting options.Only 7.7% of companies filing within the new two-day reporting window for options grants show a pattern of backdating, compared to 19.9% of companies that did not meet the requirements.As a result, it is possible that Activision will be required to record additional stock-based compensation expense related to stock-option grants.

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New research (July 2006) by Eric Lie and Randall Heron found that 29.2% of companies issuing options to executives and/or directors between 19 have grant date patterns that suggest backdating or other manipulative practices (such as "spring-loading," the announcement of a grant before good news is released), and 23% of options issued to executives appear to have been backdated or spring-loaded.

The Santa Monica, Calif., videogame company said on July 28 that the SEC has asked the company for documents related to its stock-option grants as part of an informal inquiry.

The company also said its board has appointed a special subcommittee of independent directors to conduct an internal review of the companys historical stock-option grant practices. 25 the company said it appears likely that actual measurement dates for certain historical stock-option grants will be found to differ from the recorded grant dates for such awards.

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