Backdating scandal online dating woes


01-Jul-2016 22:38

Unfortunately, these conditions are rarely met, making backdating of grants illegal in most cases.(In fact, it can be argued that if these conditions hold, there is little reason to backdating options, because the firm can simply grant in-the-money options instead.)David Yermack of NYU was the first researcher to document some peculiar stock price patterns around ESO grants.There is also some relatively early anecdotal evidence of backdating.A particularly interesting example is that of Micrel Inc.Unless corporate insiders can predict short-term movements in the stock market, my results provided further evidence in support of the backdating explanation.In a second study forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economics (available at Randy Heron of Indiana University and I examined the stock price pattern around ESO grants before and after a new SEC requirement in August of 2002 that option grants must be reported within two business days.The graph below shows the dramatic effect of this new requirement on the lag between the grant and filing dates.To the extent that companies comply with this new regulation, backdating should be greatly curbed.

The number of shares subject to option was 250,000 and the exercise price was (the trough in the stock price graph below.) Given a year-end price of , the intrinsic value of the options at the end of the year was (-) x 250,000 = ,750,000.However, under the new FAS 123R, the expense is based on the fair market value on the grant date, such that even at-the-money options have to be expensed.) Because backdating is typically not reflected properly in earnings, some companies that have recently admitted to backdating of options have restated earnings for past years. The exercise price affects the basis that is used for estimating both the company's compensation expense for tax purposes and any capital gain for the option recipient.Thus, an artificially low exercise price might alter the tax payments for both the company and the option recipient.In comparison, had the options been granted at the year-end price when the decision to grant to options actually might have been made, the year-end intrinsic value would have been zero.

Backdating does not violate shareholder-approved option plans.Further, at-the-money options are considered performance-based compensation, and can therefore be deducted for tax purposes even if executives are paid in excess of

Backdating does not violate shareholder-approved option plans.

Further, at-the-money options are considered performance-based compensation, and can therefore be deducted for tax purposes even if executives are paid in excess of $1 million (see Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code).

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Backdating does not violate shareholder-approved option plans.Further, at-the-money options are considered performance-based compensation, and can therefore be deducted for tax purposes even if executives are paid in excess of $1 million (see Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code).

million (see Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code).



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