Altering the Terms of Executive Stock Options

38 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2008

See all articles by Menachem Brenner

Menachem Brenner

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Rangarajan K. Sundaram

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

David Yermack

New York University (NYU) - Stern School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 1998

Abstract

This paper examines the practice of resetting of the terms of previously-issued executive stock options. We identify the properties of the typical reset option, characterize the firms that have reset options, and develop a model to value options that may be reset. In our sample of 396 executives whose options had terms reset in 1992-95 period, a large majority had exercise prices reset to the market price. This resulted in a reduction of the typical option's exercise price by about 40%. Slightly less than half of these options also had their maturities extended, generally receiving a new expiration of 10 years. We find that resetting has a strong negative relationship with firm performance even after correcting for industry performance. Resetting is also significantly more common among small firms than among large firms. However, few other industry- or firm-specific factors appear to matter. Finally, we find that the possibility of resetting does not have a large impact on the ex-ante value of an option award, but the ex-post gain can be substantial.

Suggested Citation

Brenner, Menachem and Sundaram, Rangarajan K. and Yermack, David, Altering the Terms of Executive Stock Options (February 1998). NYU Working Paper No. FIN-98-010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1296405

Menachem Brenner (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0323 (Phone)
212-995-4233 (Fax)

Rangarajan K. Sundaram

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0308 (Phone)
212-995-4233 (Fax)

David Yermack

New York University (NYU) - Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0357 (Phone)
212-995-4220 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/~dyermack

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