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Amazon, Web Giants Shift to Report Real Cost of Equity Pay

  • Facebook also focusing on profit including stock expenses
  • Industry change may underscore struggles of Twitter, LinkedIn
An employee pushes a trolley at the Amazon Inc. warehouse in Hemel Hempstead, U.K.
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe
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For more than a decade, technology companies doled out heaps of stock to recruit top talent -- then pretended this wasn’t a normal part of doing business by reporting profit numbers that subtracted the cost. That’s changing as the industry grows up and responds to pressure from regulators and investors.

Amazon.com Inc. started breaking out stock-based compensation in the results of its different businesses in the first quarter. This is “the way we now evaluate our business performance and manage our operations,” Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky told analysts after the earnings report last week.