Stock option backdating restatements
Furthermore, the pre-and post-grant price pattern has intensified over time (see graph below).
By the end of the 1990s, the aggregate price pattern had become so pronounced that I thought there was more to the story than just grants being timed before corporate insiders predicted stock prices to increase.
We interpret these findings as strong evidence that backdating explains most of the price pattern around ESO grants.
In comparison, had the options been granted at the year-end price when the decision to grant to options actually might have been made, the year-end intrinsic value would have been zero.
Backdating does not violate shareholder-approved option plans.
This made me think about the possibility that some of the grants had been backdated.
I further found that the overall stock market performed worse than what is normal immediately before the grants and better than what is normal immediately after the grants.