Analyst: Stock Probe Documents Unlikely to Impact Apple CEO
by , 12:30 PM EST, December 27th, 2006
The revelation that Apple may have falsified certain documents relating to some stock option grants is not likely to have any direct impact on the company's CEO, Steve Jobs according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. He expects that if Friday's SEC filing shows company executives did produce fake records to enhance the profits of backdated stock options, the documents will also show that Mr. Jobs was not involved in the activities.
Mr. Munster speculates that there is a less than five percent chance that Mr. Jobs was involved in any document falsification. He comments "There are 2 reasons why we do not believe Steve Jobs was involved: 1) Apple's internal investigation found no involvement by any current officers, and 2) we do not believe Jobs had a general interest in compensation matters, let alone an interest in falsifying documents related to compensation."
A report on Law.com noted that Mr. Jobs has hired his own legal counsel, leading some to speculate that Apple's CEO expects to be implicated the the stock options scandal. Mr. Munster responded with "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."
Apple's stock took a hit after the news that some executives may have been falsifying documents. It is, however, starting to climb back up again. Currently, Apple stock is trading at US$80.20, down 1.31 (1.61%).