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F5 says SEC won't recommend backdating charges

Tue, 01/12/2010 - 10:01am
The Associated Press

F5 Networks Inc. said Tuesday it has gotten notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission saying the agency won't recommended bringing any charges related to a stock options backdating investigation.

After its own investigation of stock-option practices in 2006, the company found it had to account for about $22.9 million in additional stock-based compensation.

Backdating involves retroactively setting a stock option's exercise price to a low point in the stock's value, boosting profits when the shares are sold. It is legal when properly accounted for, but if not properly disclosed it can allow companies to overstate profits and underpay taxes.

Shares of F5 Networks were down $1.74, or 3.3 percent, to $50.71 in afternoon trading.

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