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Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh.
But averaging all 15 rounds together, it seems reasonable to expect the 50th percentile if no funny business was going on.
Apple’s grants average in the 15th or 16th percentile.
That is powerful evidence that a company backdated, or at least granted options right before they had reason to believe the stock was going to jump.
Of course, Apple has now admitted that they backdated options, and Jobs knew about it There are three transactions the SEC and Justice Department probably are looking at for backdating.
I think these things because I have been through the numbers, including what I believe is the largest stock option grant ever, to Steve Jobs in January 2000.
Overall, since the current proxy disclosure rules started in 1994, Apple made 15 rounds of options grants through their September, 2002 fiscal year.Up to now, he has been represented by the company’s outside law firm.One of the big advantages of being in and around Silicon Valley for 25 years is the déjà vu effect. CEOs usually don’t hire their own counsel until the company counsel tells them that the company’s interests and the CEO’s interests have diverged.If you look at the price of those grants compared to the annual range of the stock for the six months prior to the grant and the six months following the grant, all 15 should average somewhere around the 50th percentile of the annual range.Some grants made right before the stock declined would be in higher percentiles, while others made right before the stock shot up would be in lower percentiles.A second case was January 17, 2001, when four top officers (not including Jobs) got options totaling two million shares at .41 a share.A few months before, on the last business day of the 2000 fiscal year, September 29, AAPL was cut in half when they preannounced an earnings shortfall.I think that’s wrong, or at least expresses a lot more certainty than any outsider could know.The other, quieter announcement was that Steve Jobs has “decided” that he needs to hire his own attorney to deal with the SEC and the Justice Department from now on.The company and its independent auditors are reviewing the findings of the independent investigation.Management continues to believe, and the audit committee agrees, that Apple will likely need to restate its historical financial statements to record non-cash charges for compensation expense relating to past stock option grants.