This study seeks to determine whether employee stock options share key characteristics of liabilities or equity. Consistent with warrant pricing theory, we find that common equity risk and expected return are negatively associated with the extent to which a firm has outstanding employee stock options, which is opposite to the association for liabilities. We also find the following. (1) The association is positive for firms that reprice options and less negative for firms that have options with longer remaining terms to maturity, which indicates that some employee stock options have characteristics that make them more similar to liabilities. (2) Leverage measured based on treating options as equity has a stronger positive relation with common equity risk than leverage measured based on treating options as liabilities. (3) The sensitivity of employee stock option value to changes in asset value mirrors that of common equity value and is opposite to that of liability value. Also, we find that, unlike liabilities, employee stock options have substantially higher risk and expected return than common equity. Our findings are not consistent with classifying employee stock options as liabilities for financial reporting if classification were based on the directional association of a claim with common equity risk and expected return. Rather, our findings suggest the options act more like another type of equity.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 13, 2013
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera