Tardy BEA Gets a Filing Extension

While the company sorts out backdating problems, a Wall Street shark circles.
Stephen TaubSeptember 21, 2007

BEA Systems says the Nasdaq Stock Market has given it until November 14 to file its delinquent financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission or face delisting proceedings. The maker of enterprise infrastructure software is currently late in filing several quarterly reports, specifically those for the periods ended July 31, 2006, October 31, 2006, April 30, 2007, and July 31, 2007. The company also failed to file its annual report for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2007.

BEA’s tardiness is mostly related to the stock-option backdating scandal. In August 2006, its audit committee began reviewing the company’s historical stock-option grants, and by December 2006, BEA warned it would restate previously issued financial statements after the committee determined that the actual measurement dates for certain stock options differed from the recorded measurement dates.

To be sure, in February BEA announced it would restate its financials for the 10-year period through fiscal 2007, and take a pretax charge of between $340 million and $390 million to reflect changes in measurement dates for previously granted stock options. The company also announced that its senior managers and independent directors agreed to have their outstanding options repriced, and that it would make certain changes to the structure of its management and board.

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Meanwhile, the sharks are surrounding the company. Billionaire investor and corporate raider Carl Icahn is pushing for the company to put itself on the selling block, and said in a regulatory filing that he has increased his stake in BEA to slightly less than 10 percent.