MANHASSET, N.Y. The investigation surrounding the granting of stock options widened Wednesday (May 24) when semiconductor supplier Analog Devices, Inc. said it has received a document subpoena from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York requesting records dating back to 2000 relating to the company's granting of stock options.
Analog Devices (Norwood, Mass.) said it plans to cooperate fully with the office of the U.S. Attorney in connection with this subpoena.
The company believes the options at issue are the same option grants which have been the subject of investigation by the SEC. As previously disclosed, Analog Devices has reached a tentative settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the SEC's inquiry into the company's stock option granting practices.
That settlement would conclude that Analog Devices should have disclosed in its proxy filings that the company priced these stock options prior to releasing favorable financial results. Further, the settlement would conclude that the appropriate grant date for options granted on July 18, 2001 should have been July 26, 2001 (which is five trading days after the original date).
Analog Devices added that revising measurement dates for the options in question would not materially affect its financial results. Thus, the company does not plan to restate earnings.
The controversy over the backdating of stock options continues to cast a storm cloud over the electronics industry, with companies engaging in the practice coming under increasing scrutiny by the SEC. These include a number of well-known electronics companies, including Vitesse Semiconductor Corp., Altera Corp., Brooks Automation, and Power Integrations Inc., as well as electronic manufacturing services provider Jabil Circuit Inc.
Analog Devices has paid some of the consequences for its stock options practices. The settlement cost the company $3 million in civil fines, while the options granted in certain years to ADI's directors and its president and CEO Jerald Fishman, had to be repriced. Fishman was also ordered to pay a $1 million civil penalty and had to make a disgorgement payment for options granted in certain years.