Michael Mauboussin, Dan Callahan
U.S. companies are increasingly paying employees with stock-based compensation (SBC) rather than cash. We begin with data showing overall trends, then turn to the accounting issues, and wrap up by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of SBC. Ongoing shareholders typically realize more dilution with young companies than with old ones because SBC tends to be more significant, and buybacks less significant, for young companies. Research is equivocal on the benefits commonly cited for SBC.