BusinessCompany NewsStock option rule hurts Merrill Lynch

Stock option rule hurts Merrill Lynch

Investment bank takes $1.2bn (£687m) one-off hit

Global investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co has said its first-quarter
earnings will take a $1.2bn hit after taxes as a result of the adoption of a new
accounting standard for stock-based employee compensation.

The financial services company said the moves require it to accelerate the
recognition of compensation expenses for affected stock awards, resulting in the
one-off non-cash increase in compensation expenses.

First-quarter charges were ‘solely timing differences’ the company said and
would not have any substantive effect on the ultimate cost of its stock-based
compensation awards.

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