One man's opinion

Several Mac news sites are reporting on Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray’s analysis claiming Jobs is in the clear on the stock options issue.

Not to throw cold water on any potential wood being sported for this report, but Munster is about as close as you can get to an Apple fanboy on Wall Street.  Not that he’s wrong (he’s probably more often right than his competition), but he seems to have a general inclination to be bullish on Apple.

Also, Munster really offers no new information other than this (see MacObserver for a chart):

The analyst said that of the 15 grants in question,  one was at the low for the 40-day trading range, three were within 5 percent of the low for a 40-day trading range, and three were within 10 percent of the low for the fiscal year.

And that’s just more detail on the options in question which we already knew were “irregular.”  Beyond that, it’s really just Munster’s opinion.

Among other issues, Piper Jaffray noted that one of the grants in question was given to Mr. Jobs in January 2000 but was canceled March 2003, resulting in no financial gain to Mr. Jobs.

This is a matter of interpretation.  Jobs was given directly owned shares at essentially a replacement value for options with a favorable strike price that were improperly reported.  How that’s of “no financial gain to Mr. Jobs”, the Macalope is unsure.

  • Bob Jones:

    From the conference call.

    “Special committee found no misconduct of any Apple Board member including Steve Jobs.”

    Not that it’s definitive or without bias though.

  • babble:

    Has the SEC begun and investigation, or have they indicated they might? Unless or until that happens, it seems rather pointless to speculate either way. The outcome of Apple’s internal investigation is all we have to go on at the moment; folks can choose to see that as inherrently biased in Steve’s favor, or not.

    Really, until Apple gets called to the carpet by the folks who actually have the power to charge somebody, it seems useless – given that the received wisdom at this point is largely speculation – to make any assumptions one way or the other.

  • GadgetGav:

    I think there’s more to come in the options backdating, they need to come clean about how Job’s underwater & potentially backdated options were valued when converted to outright shares. The statements today are still pending possible restatement of financials going back years.
    You just know that Jobs was making good money somehow when he was getting a nominal salary of $1… It wasn’t just at Apple though, I think this was accepted practice for big cheeses. The problem is how they sort it all out now that the climate has changed and it’s now frowned upon.

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