Bad Dates — Goldman Sachs on the Option Backdating Issue

Sallah: [catches date and points to dead monkey] Bad dates.
           — from Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

The research team at Goldman Sachs has out a useful report on the current option backdating brouhaha. Sherlund & Co. report that the GS software coverage universe includes a few high-profile companies that are apparently staffed by some veerrrrry skilled stock-pickers:

Companies that screen with 20% or more of their grants within 5% of their lows for the 20-day before-and-after period include Mercury Interactive, Quest Software, Microsoft, McAfee, Adobe, Business Objects, and CA.


  1. Slightly different perspective on options. A company I worked for and had options in – a few days before the employee trading window opened the price dropped. It happened several quarters in a row. It was not fair to the rank and file employees – cost them a few dollars per share because they were resticted when they could trade. I think trades below a certain amount should be allowed each quarter without any insider restrictions. The SEC has enough forensics to be able to detect mass foul play.