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May 26, 2006 at 12:52 PM

More on F5 Networks and nationwide SEC probe

Today’s story on federal investigations of F5 Networks and more than 20 other companies concerning the timing of stock option awards was picked up by McAdams Wright Ragen’s Tim Bueneman.

He reiterated today that F5’s management had strongly denied any backdating in a conversation with him last Thursday, prior to F5’s announcements that the company received a grand jury subpoena from U.S. District Court in New York and was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In his note to investors Monday, Bueneman said he had spoken with F5 Chief Accounting Officer John Rodriguez on May 18, who was explicit in saying “F5 has not back-dated any options.”

May 18 is the same day F5 received the grand jury subpeona and a notice from the SEC of the inquiry, though F5 didn’t announce those events publicly until Monday. F5 says it is cooperating with the grand jury and the SEC investigations, and that its board has authorized a review of the company’s stock options grants, to be conducted with the help of outside independent legal counsel and independent accounting experts.

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