Apple delays quarterly filing, warns of restatements

blog A stock options probe has the company digging into several years' worth of earnings reports.

Apple will likely be forced to restate earnings information dating back to 2002 as a result of its investigation into the practice of backdating stock options, the company announced Thursday.

As a result, the company will delay the filing of its 10-Q quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it said in a press release. The results of the investigation have convinced the company's management and board of directors that "the Company will likely need to restate its historical financial statements to record non-cash charges for compensation expense relating to past stock option grants," it said.

Essentially, any earnings information released starting on September 29, 2002, is no longer reliable, since those numbers are likely to change, Apple said. After-hours traders punished Apple's stock after hearing the news, sending shares of the company down $4.59, or 6.6 percent in extended trading.

Apple, like many technology companies of late, has been under scrutiny for the practice of backdating stock options, or changing the grant date of a stock option to a more favorable time.

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