Accounting & Tax

Options Woes Delay UnitedHealth Filing

In December the Securities and Exchange Commission launched a formal investigation into the health insurer's stock-option practices.
Stephen TaubMarch 2, 2007

UnitedHealth Group has announced that due solely to matters related to stock-option accounting, it will need more time to file its 2006 annual report.

The health insurer, which will take advantage of an automatic two-week extension, expects to file by March 15. At that time, the company added, it will also file an amended report for the first quarter of 2006 and overdue reports for the second and third quarters.

UnitedHealth also announced that once it is current with its filings, it will resume its share-repurchase program, though the company did not elaborate on the connection between the two.

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Last May UnitedHealth disclosed that it may need to restate earnings by as much as $286 million over three years, and that the Securities and Exchange Commission had opened an informal inquiry.

In December the company estimated the total charges at between $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion for the period 1994 through 2005. It also disclosed that the SEC had launched a formal investigation into its stock-option practices.