Apple takes $84m-hit in options probe

Apple investigators found irregularities in the way stock was granted, restating its financial results with a total impact of $84 million (£43.2m). But the company said chief executive Steve Jobs did no wrong.

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Apple investigators found irregularities in the way stock was granted, restating its financial results with a total impact of $84 million (£43.2m). But the company said chief executive Steve Jobs did no wrong.

An investigation into past stock option grants at Apple has found that Jobs was aware of procedural irregularities but did not benefit personally from the grants or understand the accounting implications.

Apple revealed the results of the investigation in documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last Friday.

The total financial restatement includes $21m (£10.8m) combined for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 as a result of the options probe.

The investigators found Apple made a number of stock grants where the grant dates were intentionally selected to obtain favourable exercise prices. They reported serious concerns over the way that two former officers, whom Apple did not name, accounted for stock option grants.

Jobs appeared to have been exonerated by the investigation though. "The board of directors…has complete confidence in Steve Jobs and the senior management team," Apple said in its statement.

Apple announced in June that an internal review had discovered irregularities in the way it granted stock from 1997 to 2001, including a grant to Jobs. It formed a special committee of outside directors who hired investigators to research the company's option granting practices.

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