Apple will hold its annual shareholder meeting tonight – but joy at its success across all business segments is likely to be tempered by ongoing anxiety over stock options accounting problems.
All seven members of Apple's board are up for re-election this year. As a protest against the company's handling of its stock options crisis, some prominent investor's groups are recommending sharholders don't vote in the election.
The protest 'no-vote' is unlikely to see any executives removed from the board, but will send a clear message to company management that they need to resolve the options crisis.
Apple "has seemingly absolved Mr. Jobs of all blame in an attempt to whitewash the backdating scandal as being the result of a few bad apples," research firm Glass Lewis said. "In our view, the special committee's finding that there was not misconduct by any member of (Apple's) current management team raises questions about its credibility."
Many shareholders will be happy with company management, as Mac marketshare climbs, iPod sales remain strong and anticipation at the release of the iPhone continues to climb.
The results of the meeting will likely see Apple management forced to put more safeguards in place to protect the company from any further irregularities when it offers executives share options as part of its compensation package.
Amalgamated Bank LongView Collective Investment Fund and the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds have put together a motion demanding Apple set grant dates for stock options during a given fiscal year ahead of time. It also demands that options granted to senior executives be given an exercise price that is equal to the average opening and closing prices of Apple stock on the day options are given.
Apple is opposing the move, but shareholder anxiety could vote through these demands.