This excerpt taken from the VRSN 10-K filed Mar 16, 2005.
New and proposed regulations related to equity compensation will adversely affect our operating results and negatively impact our ability to attract and retain key personnel.
Since our inception, we have used stock options and other long-term equity incentives as a fundamental component of our employee compensation packages. We believe that stock options and other long-term equity incentives directly motivate our employees to maximize long-term stockholder value and, through the use of vesting, encourage employees to remain with VeriSign. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) recently issued Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 123R, Share-Based Payment, which supercedes SFAS No. 123, Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation, that will require us to record a charge to earnings for employee stock option grants beginning in the third quarter of 2005. This change will have a material, negative impact on our reported earnings. Recording a charge for employee stock options and the employee stock purchase plan under SFAS No. 123 would have increased after tax charges by approximately $136.8 million, $215.9 million and $221.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003 and 2002, respectively. In addition, new regulations adopted by the Nasdaq Stock Market requiring stockholder approval for stock option plans could make it more difficult for us to grant options to employees in the future. To the
extent that new policies or regulations make it more difficult or expensive to grant options to employees, we may incur increased cash compensation costs or find it difficult to attract, retain and motivate employees, either of which could materially harm our business.