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Employee Stock Options (ESOPs) and Restricted Stock: Valuation Effects and Consequences

Authors: Damodaran, Aswath
Issue Date: Sep-2005
Series/Report no.: S-DRP-05-03
Abstract: In the last decade, firms have increasingly turned to offering employees options and restricted stock (often with restrictions on trading) as part of compensation packages. Some of this trend can be attributed to the entry of young, cash poor technology firms into the market, many of which have to use equity because they have no choice. However, many larger market cap firms that can afford to pay cash compensation have used stock based compensation as a way of aligning managerial interests with stockholder interests. In this paper, we begin by looking at motives, good and bad, for using equity based compensation, and trends over the last few years. We then turn to the accounting rules, old and new, that govern how equity compensation is recorded and reported. Finally, we consider how best to incorporate employee options and restricted stock – both past and prospective – into discounted cash flow and relative valuation models.
Appears in Collections:Derivatives Research

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