Monster Inc. Earnings Dive $217.9M From Options Backdating

December 14, 2006 ( - Online employment firm Monster Worldwide has announced that it would restate its earnings over nine years by a total of $217.9 million because of improperly recorded stock option grants.

Those grants were “intentionally” changed by former officials from 1997 to 2003, the company said in a news release.

The adjustments to Monster’s financial statements shaved its 2005 net income by $9.24 million, 2004 net income by $14.4 million, 2003 net income by $27 million, and resulted in reduced earnings in some of the earlier years, according to the release.

The company also reported it had made more than $500,000 in inappropriate options payments to its founder Andrew McKelvey, and said it has amended part of its annual report to reflect its transactions with the fallen executive, who resigned as Monster’s chief executive in October.

The move by Monster to restate its financial reports comes nearly one month after the findings of an independent committee created to look into the company’s options practices prompted the firm to oust Myron Olesnyckyi from his seat as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary (See Corporate Carnage Continues in Stock Options Scandal with Monster Firing ).

The company announced the start of the investigation in June, after reporting that its securities filings revealed seven options grants to executive James Treacy between 1997 and 2001. Monster’s compensation committee granted Treacy options on the stock’s lowest closing price in 1997, and he and other executives received grants three other times on days when the stock price was the lowest (See  Monster, Apollo Group Join Companies Investigating Stock Options ).