This excerpt taken from the DIS DEF 14A filed Jan 6, 2005.
Non-Qualified Stock Options
A non-qualified stock option results in no taxable income to the optionee or deduction to the Company at the time it is granted. An optionee exercising such an option will, at that time, realize taxable compensation in the amount of the difference between the option price and the then market value of the shares. Subject to the applicable provisions of the Code, a deduction for federal income tax purposes will be allowable to the Company in the year of exercise in an amount equal to the taxable compensation recognized by the optionee.
The optionees basis in such shares is equal to the sum of the option price plus the amount includible in his or her income as compensation upon exercise. Any gain (or loss) upon subsequent disposition of the shares will be a long-term or short-term gain (or loss), depending upon the holding period of the shares.
If a non-qualified option is exercised by tendering previously owned shares of the Companys common stock in payment of the option price, then, instead of the treatment described above, the following generally will apply: a number of new shares equal to the number of previously owned shares tendered will be considered to have been received in a tax-free exchange; the optionees basis and holding period for such number of new shares will be equal to the basis and holding period of the previously owned shares exchanged. The optionee will have compensation income equal to the fair market value on the date of exercise of the number of new shares received in excess of such number of exchanged shares; the optionees basis in such excess shares will be equal to the amount of such compensation income; and the holding period in such shares will begin on the date of exercise.