Tuesday, December 25, 2007

McAfee posts $137M in added charges

Investors filled McAfee Inc.'s stocking with coal Monday morning after the security-software maker filed long-awaited financial restatements, but said it would not start buying back shares until after it posts results for the current year.

The stock fell 72 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $37.40 after the opening bell.

Cowen and Co. analyst Walter Pritchard said the revised reports contained no "major surprises," and said that a share buyback should start by February. He kept his "Outperform" rating.

As part of the restatement, McAfee (MFE) recorded an additional $137.4 million in pretax, non-cash stock-based compensation charges due to past stock option accounting errors. The charges are mostly related to annual merit grants, grants made to new workers and changes made to employee-option agreements after employment ceased, McAfee said.

Long term, Pritchard remained bullish on the company and said shares should outperform the market by 15 percent in the next year. To top of page


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