updated 12/27/2006 7:56:14 AM ET 2006-12-27T12:56:14

UnitedHealth Group Inc., the country's second-largest health insurer behind WellPoint Inc., said Tuesday that federal regulators have begun a formal investigation into its historical stock options practices.

The Securities and Exchange Commission's formal order follows an informal inquiry begun in April. Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth said in SEC filing it intends to cooperate with the investigation.

The company's own internal review found errors in its stock options accounting that will cost some $400 million to $1.7 billion to correct. UnitedHealth has said it will have to restate its earnings back to 1994. The scandal forced out former Chairman and CEO William McGuire.

"This is a routine step in the process, and the company continues to cooperate fully with the SEC," said UnitedHealth spokesman Don Nathan.

UnitedHealth shares fell 22 cents to close at $53.23 on the New York Stock Exchange, and dipped 85 cents to $52.38 in the aftermarket session.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.93%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.20%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.58%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.42%
13.40%
Cash Back Cards 17.92%
17.91%
Rewards Cards 17.13%
17.11%
Source: Bankrate.com