Apple Records $84M Charge in SEC Filing

| Apple Stock Watch

Apple Computer filed its delinquent form 10-Q and form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, and is recording a non-cash charge of US$84 million to compensate for improperly handled stock option grants. Apple states that the grants in question were issued between 1997 and 2002.

Apple delayed filing the form 10-Q for the quarter ending on July 1, 2006 and form 10-K for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2006 while an independent investigation was conducted to look into improperly backdated stock option grants. The company committed to filing the required documents by December 29.

The $84 million non-cash stock-based expense includes $7 million from 2005, and $4 million from 2006.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, chair of the special committee overseeing the independent investigation, and Jerome York, chair of Appleis Audit and Finance Committee, said in a joint statement "The special committee, its independent counsel and forensic accountants have performed an exhaustive investigation of Appleis stock option granting practices. The board of directors is confident that the Company has corrected the problems that led to the restatement, and it has complete confidence in Steve Jobs and the senior management team."

The investigation cleared the current management team, including CEO Steve Jobs, of any wrong doing, but expressed concerns over the actions of two former Apple executives.

Concerns over Mr. Jobsi involvement in the backdating incidents were raised earlier this week when a report surfaced claiming he had hired a legal team for representation during the investigation. Those concerns are unfounded, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

He commented "Regarding the supposed hiring of a separate legal counsel by Jobs, we do not see this as surprising. We would have expected that he have his own legal counsel for the duration of the options investigation."

News of Appleis SEC filing has already had a positive impact on the Mac and iPod makeris stock. In pre-market trading, the companyis stock is at $84.42, up 3.58 (4.43%).

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