1. Nice Deduction, WatsonUnitedHealth ( UNH) changed its tune this week.
The Minnetonka, Minn., health insurance giant has come under fire for profligate and possibly illicit executive pay. The furor started in March when The Wall Street Journal reported that UnitedHealth may have backdated options to give recipients bigger gains. The paper also said CEO William McGuire was sitting on a $1.6 billion unexercised stock-option hoard as of year-end.
UnitedHealth responded by authorizing not one, but two probes of the matter, one by the company and one by a special independent panel of the board. UnitedHealth also suspended option grants to top executives. But the company insisted it believed that its grant process was "appropriate."
Judging by Wednesday's quarterly report, UnitedHealth may be having second thoughts about that line now. The 10-Q noted that the Securities and Exchange Commission has