Apple to Record Non-Cash Charge of $84 Million

Apple issued the following press release this morning:

CUPERTINO, Calif., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Apple(R) today filed its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 1, 2006 and its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2006 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Both filings had been delayed pending the conclusion of an independent investigation by the special committee of the board of directors into past stock option practices and the resulting restatement of the Company’s financial results. Apple undertook this investigation on its own initiative and has informed the SEC and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the results.

Based on an analysis of the findings of the independent investigation, the Company has recognized total additional non-cash stock-based compensation expense of $84 million after tax, including $4 million and $7 million in fiscal years 2006 and 2005, respectively. The restatement arises solely from certain stock option grants made between 1997 and 2002; the investigation found no grants after December 31, 2002 that required accounting adjustments.

“The special committee, its independent counsel and forensic accountants have performed an exhaustive investigation of Apple’s stock option granting practices,” in a joint statement said Al Gore, chair of the special committee, and Jerome York, chair of Apple’s Audit and Finance Committee. “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.”

I don’t claim to be an expert in this area, but the number of $84 million is the same amount that has been speculated about for months now, and as best I can tell, the resurfacing of this news this past week hasn’t really provided any new information about this investigation than was previously reported…except that Jobs has apparently retained his own council…which is freaking everybody out, it seems.

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