PeopleSoft Investors Vote For Option Expensing

March 26, 2004 ( - The people have spoken at PeopleSoft Inc. as 53% of investors approved a proposal to count stock options as an expense.

More than half of the   Pleasanton, California-based company’s shareholders approved the measure despite management’s recommendation for a no vote.   The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Pension Plan forwarded the proposal on to investors, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.

The investor recommendation, though, is non binding, leading Director George “Skip” Battle to only say PeopleSoft would be “spending time looking at this issue in considerable detail.”   The move by PeopleSoft’s investors follows similar resolutions passed by investors to begin counting stock options as an expense at companies such as Apple Computer Inc, Veritas Software Corp and Hewlett-Packard.   As of yet, none of the companies have moved to voluntarily beginning expensing stock options.

However, the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is expected to release regulations later this month   that would require companies to consider all employee stock options as an expense. This comes after the FASB voted in late 2003 to draft new rules requiring companies to consider employee stock options as an expense (SeeFASB: Option Expensing Begins in 2005).  The nation’s accounting rulemakers are expected to issue draft rules later this month outlining mandatory option expensing procedures.