Employee Stock Options, EPS Dilution, and Stock Repurchases
Daniel A. Bens
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
Douglas J. Skinner
The University of Chicago - Booth School of Business
M.H. Franco Wong
INSEAD; University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management
Journal of Accounting & Economics, Vol. 36, No. 1-3, pp. 51-90, December 2003
We investigate whether corporate managers' stock repurchase decisions are affected by their incentives to manage diluted earning-per-share (EPS). We find that managers increase the level of their firms' stock repurchases when: (1) the dilutive effect of outstanding employee stock options (ESOs) on diluted EPS increases, and (2) earnings are below the level required to achieve the desired rate of EPS growth. We also find that managers' repurchase decisions are not associated with actual ESO exercises, suggesting that they are driven by incentives to manage diluted but not basic EPS, and strengthening our earnings management interpretation.
Keywords: earnings dilution, earnings management, earnings-per-share (EPS), employee stock options, stock buybacks, stock repurchases
JEL Classification: G14, G35, M41, M43, M52, J33Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 28, 2003
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