Sycamore Completes Options Review

The company will take a $215.6 million charge after finding evidence of backdating.
Publish date:

Sycamore (SCMR) shares got a lift early Wednesday after the company said it completed its second stock option review and plans a restatement.

The Chelmsford, Mass., optical-networking shop found that grant dates had been manipulated to enhance the value of stock options given to employees, executives and consultants. The company will take a $215.6 million noncash charge for option expenses from 2000 to 2007.

Shares of Sycamore rose 9 cents, or 2.4%, to $3.86 in premarket trading Wednesday.

The company says its auditors found evidence that recorded grant dates were "deliberately altered" to obtain more favorable exercise prices for the grantees. About 97% of the option backdating occurred prior to July 2004, Sycamore said in a press release.

The review concluded that two former finance executives were ultimately responsible for the changes, and that no current management engaged in any wrongdoing.

Sycamore plans to file its delayed fiscal 2006 annual report "as soon as practicable." The report will include restated financials for the prior four years.

"We are pleased to have completed this investigation and look forward to finalizing our restatement as soon as possible," CEO Dan Smith said in a press release. "I believe that we have taken the necessary steps to ensure that the appropriate procedures are in place in our equity award process."