From Standard & Poor's Equity Research
Needham downgraded KLA-Tencor (KLAC
) to hold from buy, noting a Wall Street Journal article saying that five additional companies were found to have questionable timing in issuing options.
Analyst Robert Maire says the newspaper specifically cited KLAC Chairman Ken Levy, CEO Rick Wallace, and other executives. He thinks KLA-Tencor stock will be under significant pressure for a long period of time due to this issue, and thus would prefer to wait on the sidelines until the matter is sorted out. He thinks KLA-Tencor's situation is worse than Brooks Automation's (BRKS
) (also cited by the WSJ), because KLA-Tencor's issue involves current management, while Brooks Automation's Robert Therrien had retired long before the story broke.