updated 01:30 pm EDT, Wed April 25, 2007
Former CFO may lack proof
Yesterday former Apple CEO Fred Anderson, who agreed to pay $3.5 million to make up for his personal gains in the company's stock options scandal, pointed to Apple boss Steve Jobs by saying he informed the CEO of accounting implications related to the primary stock option grant in question. Research firm JMP Securities today predicted that Anderson's claim is not likely documented, and that no evidence exists to back his claim. "Given that Apple's in-depth, six-month review conducted by the company and independent counsel and accountants amounted to over 26,000 person-hours reviewing over 1 million documents, with the committee finding no misconduct by current management, there is likely no documentation to back up Mr. Anderson's comments," said JMP Securities analyst Ingrid Ebeling. JMP Securities maintains its $100 price target with an 'outperform' rating on Apple shares.
"The committee concluded that Steve Jobs was aware or recommended some favorable grant dates, but he did not receive or financially benefit from them."
The SEC has said it will not pursue further action against Apple, but may still come after Jobs. Additionally, the U.S. Attorney's office could also pursue a criminal case against Apple and individuals involved.