Security vendor McAfee is investigating its past stock-granting practices following questions from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company confirmed Friday.
The disclosure comes as the SEC is investigating allegations that a number of companies backdated stock option grants, allowing executives to purchase shares at lower prices. Companies that have engaged in backdating may be fined or charged with back taxes, observers say.
McAfee is in “informal” dialogue with the SEC and has “voluntarily initiated the review of our own stock option grant practices” during the late 1990s and the early part of 2000, McAfee said in a statement attributed to the company’s chairman and CEO, George Samenuk.
“If in the course of our review should we find anything of note, we will make the appropriate disclosures,” Samenuk said.
McAfee is one of 17 companies reported as being at risk for having backdated options in a May 16 report by research firm Center for Financial Research & Analysis (CFRA).
Other companies flagged by CFRA include RSA Security, Juniper Networks and Broadcom.
-Robert McMillan, IDG News Service
For related news coverage, read U.S. Authorities Expand Stock Grants Probe and McAfee’s SiteAdviser: Search Engines Expose Users to Malware, Viruses.
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