Start Stock option backdating wiki

Stock option backdating wiki

In this way, the exercise price of the granted option can be set at a lower price than that of the company's stock at the granting date.

The company would then grant the option but date it at or near its lowest point.

This is the granted option that would be reported to the SEC.

The board formally grants the stock options to John every year at its January board meeting.

Granting stock options to employees is a generally accepted and perfectly legal form of compensating employees. Critics of backdating argue that the practice is difficult to detect and thus encourages boards and executives to use it to synthesize more creative compensation packages.

Regulators and economists have since specified that "employee stock options" is a label that refers to compensation contracts between an employer and an employee that carries some characteristics of financial options but are not in and of themselves options (that is they are "compensation contracts").

As described in the AICPA's Financial Reporting Alert on this topic, for the employer who uses ESO contracts as compensation, the contracts amount to a "short" position in the employer's equity, unless the contract is tied to some other attribute of the employer's balance sheet.

To the extent the employer's position can be modeled as a type of option, it is most often modeled as a "short position in a call." From the employee's point of view, the compensation contract provides a conditional right to buy the equity of the employer and when modeled as an option, the employee's perspective is that of a "long position in a call option." Employee Stock Options are non standard contracts with the employer whereby the employer has the liability of delivering a certain number of shares of the employer stock, when and if the employee stock options are exercised by the employee.