The practice has favorable monetary, accounting and tax consequences for the companies themselves, as well as for the recipients.
IF these estimates are even modestly close to correct, there are hundreds of companies that engaged in options backdating but whose identities are not yet public.
The study didn't identify any likely companies by name, but it showed investors how to do so themselves.
The researchers found that the probability that a company would start the practice rose by a third to a half if one of its directors was also on the board of a company that was already backdating options.
The range in these probabilities depended on various factors, including the number of directors who served on other companies' boards.
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