Juniper to Restate

The stock-option probe claims another victim.
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Juniper (JNPR) - Get Report has found backdated stock-option grants and says it will have to restate three years' worth of earnings reports.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet gearmaker said it was notified in May that regulators were looking into the company's option practices. One analyst's report found six of 15 option grants to executives were dated at the stock's low for the month.

The company said in a press release Thursday that an internal review showed date discrepancies.

Juniper's Audit Committee has "reached a preliminary conclusion that the actual measurement dates for financial accounting purposes of certain stock option grants issued in the past differ from the recorded grant dates of such awards," according to the press release.

"The company will need to restate historical financial statements to record additional non-cash charges for stock-based compensation expense related to past option grants," the release says.

Juniper is among numerous companies that have been pulled into the widening securities fraud investigations of options backdating. Changing the grant dates effectively changes the strike price of the stock option. If the grants were dated at low periods for the stock, the value of those shares would be even greater as the price increases.

The news comes just a day after federal prosecutors charged three former

Comverse

(CMVT)

execs with criminal securities fraud in connection with backdating there. Two former execs at

Brocade

(BRCD)

were indicted last month on similar charges.

Juniper shares dropped 23 cents to a two-year low of $12.67 in after-hours trading Thursday.