Some questionable options grants will cause the chip company to restate earnings back to 2000

Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

July 14, 2006

2 Min Read
Broadcom to Restate Earnings

An internal audit has led Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) to restate earnings as the stock-options scandal continues to grow.

The company announced this morning that it had discovered questionably timed stock options issued between 2000 and 2002. Broadcom will restate financial results for the years 2000 through 2005 and the first quarter of 2006, which ended in March.

Broadcom will assign new accounting measurement dates to the options, resulting in extra non-cash expenses of roughly $750 million, by the company's preliminary estimates.

The results came from a voluntary review, still ongoing, that started on May 18 -- the day a Center for Financial Research and Analysis (CFRA) study noted 17 companies, including Broadcom, had awarded options grants that appeared to be back-dated, thus increasing recipients' profits. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) later began an "informal" inquiry into Broadcom's options, as the company announced June 12. (See SEC Informaling Broadcom .)

Broadcom becomes the latest company affected by the options scandal. For the past several weeks, tech firms in particular have been staging internal audits and/or receiving subpoenas related to government investigations into the trend. (See Options Scare Hits SafeNet, Juniper, Redback in Options Probe, and Marvell Joins Options Fun.)

Broadcom's restatements won't affect its cash position or revenues. Moreover, officials pointed out that no founder, CEO, or board member received any of the options in questions. That suggests Broadcom isn't in danger of the kind of executive purge that's tarnished Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS). (See Vitesse Execs Get the Axe and Hedge Fund Vents on Vitesse.)

If you want the full-on accounting language behind the release, here goes: Broadcom's audit found that "the accounting measurement dates for certain stock option grants awarded during the years 2000-2002 differ from the measurement dates previously used for such awards," according to the press release. The release goes on to say that most of the earnings restatements will be tied to a May 26, 2000, grant of options for 8.5 million shares to nearly all employees, minus the founders. (That share count is adjusted to account for a 3-for-2 split in February 2006.)

Broadcom's stock wasn't hurt by the news; in fact, it was up $0.81 (2%) at $28.70 in late morning trading.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Craig Matsumoto

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Yes, THAT Craig Matsumoto – who used to be at Light Reading from 2002 until 2013 and then went away and did other stuff and now HE'S BACK! As Editor-in-Chief. Go Craig!!

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