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Court approves Computer Associates settlement

A US court has approved Computer Associates' plans to settle all outstanding litigation concerning past accounting practices.

A US court has approved Computer Associates' plans to settle all outstanding litigation concerning past accounting...

practices.

CA said it would spend nearly $100m to settle three class-action lawsuits against the company. The company will issue 5.7 million shares of stock to shareholders represented in the lawsuits. If CA's share price is below $23.43 at the time of distribution, up to 2.2 million of those shares will be payable in cash at that price.

Special charges related to litigation settlements pushed CA into the red in its most recently ended quarter, the second of its financial year.

CA revamped its accounting and business model in late 2000, moving to a subscription plan that recognises contracted revenue gradually, rather than in one lump sum up front when a contract is signed.

Questions about the CA's accounting and sales practices before that change have dogged the company for several years, and CA remains the subject of a joint investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice.

CA's board is also conducting an internal investigation of its past accounting. Preliminary results from that inquiry prompted the company to request in October the resignations of its chief financial officer and several other financial executives. CA is still seeking a permanent new CFO.

Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service

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