Computer Sciences, an information technology company whose biggest client is the U.S. government, said yesterday that it would restate financial results back to 1996 to correct mistakes made in accounting for stock option grants.
The restatement adds up to $68 million in pretax expenses. Because the total is spread over so many years, the amounts will not materially change the results of any one quarter, the company said.
An internal investigation, conducted by two independent board members, forensic accountants and independent counsel, "did not establish any intentional wrongdoing by current or former employees or directors, and the independent directors continue to have confidence in the integrity of management," a company statement said.
The investigation came after inquiries from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is looking at the company's option grants. About 200 companies nationwide have acknowledged or are under investigation for the way they awarded stock options.
The Computer Sciences investigation determined that 9,234 stock option grants awarded from 1996 to 2006 should be modified, principally because there were delays in authorizing and approving them, and because definitive documentation could not be found. In some cases, the options should have been accounted for as re-pricings of prior stock option grants. In others, the stock options should have been based on a later date when the closing stock price was higher. Some should have been changed to a later date when the price was lower.