According to a report in the Financial Times, Pixar, which was purchased by Disney in May, is being investigated by the SEC over questions concerning its stock options awards. Disney is said to have decided to launch an independent investigation into the matter after it received inquiries from the SEC as well as the U.S Justice Department, but it played down any likely financial impact from the issue. Pixar was founded by Apple CEO Steven Jobs. It is alleged that he was granted $7.5 million worth of Apple stock options in 2001 without permission from the board, and documents were falsified to make it appear as if consent was given. There is no evidence that Jobs personally received Pixar options.
• Sources: Financial Times, Bloomberg
• Related commentary: Pixar History, Wikipedia, Is a Disney-Apple Wireless Alliance Brewing?, Memo to Pixar and Dreamworks, Apple Stock See-Saws on Reports of Faked Options Docs, Apple Options Uncertainty . Conference call transcripts: Disney F4Q06, Apple F4Q06.
• Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) Competitors: CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS), News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS), Time Warner Inc. ETFs: (NYSE:TWX) Vanguard Consumer Discretionary VIPERs (NYSEARCA:VCR), PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth (NYSEARCA:PWB), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Services (NYSEARCA:IYC)
Seeking Alpha's news summaries are combined into a pre-market briefing called Wall Street Breakfast. Get Wall Street Breakfast by email -- it's free and takes only a few seconds to sign up.