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UnitedHealth reaffirms stock options review


MINNETONKA, Minn.--UnitedHealth Group Inc. has reiterated that it expects a review of the company's practice of backdating stock options to be substantially complete and ready to be reported to its board of directors before the company has to file its third-quarter 2006 earnings report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In an SEC filing Friday, the Minnetonka, Minn.-based health insurer also reaffirmed that it will announce the findings of the independent review when it has been completed, including the impact of adjustments, if any, on the historical financial statements and whether any restatements of previously filed financial statements are required.

In May, UnitedHealth admitted "significant deficiencies" in how the company had granted and accounted for stock options to its executives and that it would likely have to restate its financial results for the past three years to eliminate hundreds of millions in profits. It also revealed that federal securities officials and a grand jury were investigating its stock options practices.

The revelations triggered a shareholder class action lawsuit against the company and its executives.