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Shareholders sue Pediatrix over backdated stock options

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 24, 2007

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Pediatrix Medical Group, a Florida-based physician practice management company focusing on pregnancy and neonatal care, acknowledged in a Sept. 5 Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it is the defendant in a shareholder lawsuit.

The company said it was accused of misdeeds related to the backdating of stock options. A company audit earlier found that between 1996 and 2000, there were 56 stock-option grants backdated, meaning the exercise date was set on a past date when the company's stock hit a low price, rather than a predetermined date. The lawsuit also claims Pediatrix failed to properly record compensation expenses for its option grants, which led to inflated company earnings.

The lawsuit names the company and past executives as defendants. Pediatrix did not respond to the lawsuit specifically. However, in the SEC filing the company said its audit committee had determined there were no misdeeds by current executives.

The company also announced that it had purchased the 53-physician Fairfax (Va.) Anesthesiology Associates. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/09/24/bibf0924.htm.

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