We are currently evaluating whether we will voluntarily change to the fair value based method of accounting for stock based employee compensation and record such amounts as charges to operating expense.
However, the third-quarter 10Q released yesterday seems to close the door to the idea:
We currently do not intend to voluntarily change to the fair value based method of accounting for stock based employee compensation and record such amounts as charges to operating expense.
So, rather than join the growing list of companies that have decided to step up and help present investors with a clearer financial picture -- Amazon.com
To its credit, management clearly points out in each quarterly report just how much of an impact expensing options would have on earnings. For the first nine months of 2003, for example, eBay would have reported $164.7 million in earnings, or $0.25 per share, instead of the $299.3 million and $0.47 it actually recorded.
Still, the arguments against expensing are getting rather tired, and this shareholder, at least, would prefer to see management display some gumption and just get on with what's going to happen eventually -- once the Financial Accounting Standards Board requires it. This, and the issue of options dilution (another column entirely), mars eBay's otherwise fine corporate reputation.
Weigh in with your opinion on "Options and the Auctioneer," on our eBay discussion board .