Asyst Plans to Restate

An internal review found discrepancies in its past stock-option accounting practices.
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will restate its financial results for the past five years after an internal review found discrepancies in its past stock-option accounting practices.

The total financial impact of the option-related errors is around $19 million, the company announced Monday. The restatement will widen Asyst's losses in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006, while narrowing the loss in 2004.

Shares of Asyst were up 5.2%, or 37 cents, at $7.49 in midday trading.

The Freemont, Calif., chipmaker is among more than 100 companies under scrutiny for the practice of backdating stock options. In June, Asyst said it had been contacted by the Justice Department and the

Securities & Exchange Commission

regarding its option practices.

The company said a special committee of independent directors conducting the internal inquiry found that none of the incorrect stock-option measurement dates were the result of fraud. The committee didn't uncover any evidence raising concerns about the integrity of Asyst's current management.

The last stock-option grant in which an error was discovered was made in February 2004, the company said. Since then, Asyst said, management "has significantly improved the company's stock-option grant practices."

Asyst said there was no material effect on its annual operating results in any of the company's 2002 to 2006 fiscal years or in any of the quarterly periods in fiscal 2005 and 2006.

"Nonetheless, because the cumulative impact of these errors would be material if taken in a single period, the company will restate in its annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006, financial results for its fiscal years ended March 31 of 2004 and 2005 and adjust selected financial data for its 2002 and 2003 fiscal years to reflect the impact of these errors in the appropriate periods," Asyst said.

The company's stock is at risk of being delisted from the


because of delays in filing the financial reports.