The US Federal Accounting Standards Board is to introduce rules, similar to those published recently by its international counterpart, that would treat share options the same as any other form of payment, and be expensed to the balance sheet.
According to financial services firm Credit Suisse First Boston, if the rules had been introduced this year, Apple would have seen its earnings of 19 cents a share reduce by 46 cents, or 242%.
It is thought that technology companies, which have traditionally relied heavily on share options as a form of payment, will be hit hardest by the changes.
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