STOCK BASED AND DEFERRED COMPENSATION
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2018
|Disclosure of Compensation Related Costs, Share-based Payments [Abstract]|
|STOCK BASED AND DEFERRED COMPENSATION||
STOCK BASED AND DEFERRED COMPENSATION
We have two stock-based compensation plans, the Amended and Restated 2006 Stock Incentive Plan (the “2006 Plan”) and the Meritage Homes Corporation 2018 Stock Incentive Plan (the "2018 Plan"), collectively the "Stock Plans". The 2006 Plan was adopted in 2006 and has been amended or restated from time to time. The 2018 Plan was approved by our Board of Directors and our stockholders and adopted in May 2018. Both plans are administered by our Board of Directors and allow for the grant of stock appreciation rights, restricted stock awards, restricted stock units, performance share awards in addition to non-qualified and incentive stock options. The Stock Plans authorize awards to officers, key employees, non-employee directors and consultants. The 2006 Plan authorizes 5,350,000 shares of common stock to be awarded, of which 688,623 shares remain available for grant at December 31, 2018. Upon expiration of the 2006 Plan in May 2019, any available shares from expired, terminated or forfeited awards that remain under the 2006 Plan and prior plans will be available for grant under the 2018 Plan. The 2018 Plan authorizes 1,250,000 shares of stock to be awarded, of which 1,240,917 shares remain available at December 31, 2018. We believe that such awards provide a means of performance-based compensation to attract and retain qualified employees and better align the interests of our employees with those of our stockholders. Non-vested stock awards are usually granted with a five-year ratable vesting period for employees and with a three-year cliff vesting for both non-vested stock and performance-based awards granted to senior executive officers and non-employee directors.
Summary of Stock Option Activity:
We have not granted any stock options since 2009 and had no stock options outstanding as of December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016. The total intrinsic value of option exercises for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $0.2 million. The intrinsic value of a stock option is the amount by which the market value of the underlying stock exceeds the exercise price of the stock option.
Summary of Nonvested (Restricted) Shares and Units Activity:
In addition to the stock options discussed above, we grant time-based and performance-based restricted shares or units. Performance-based restricted shares are only granted to executive officers. All performance shares only vest upon the attainment of certain financial and operational criteria as established and approved by our Board of Directors.
Compensation cost related to time-based restricted stock awards is measured as of the closing price on the date of grant and is expensed, less forfeitures, on a straight-line basis over the vesting period of the award. Compensation cost related to performance-based restricted stock awards is also measured as of the closing price on the date of grant but is expensed in accordance with ASC 718, which requires an assessment of probability of attainment of the performance target. As our performance targets are dependent on performance over a specified measurement period, once we determine that the performance target outcome is probable, the cumulative expense is recorded immediately with the remaining expense and recorded on a straight-line basis through the end of the award’s vesting period. A portion of the performance-based restricted stock awards granted contain market conditions as defined by ASC 718. The guidance in ASC 718 requires that compensation expense for stock awards with market conditions be expensed based on a derived grant date fair value and expensed over the service period. We engaged a third party to perform a valuation analysis on the awards containing market conditions and our associated expense with those awards is based on the derived fair value from that analysis and is being expensed straight line over the service period of the awards. Below is a summary of compensation expense and stock award activity (in thousands):
The following table includes additional information regarding our Plan (dollars in thousands):
We also offer a non-qualified deferred compensation plan ("deferred compensation plan") to highly compensated employees in order to allow them additional pre-tax income deferrals above and beyond the limits that qualified plans, such as 401(k) plans, impose on highly compensated employees. We do not currently offer a contribution match on the deferred compensation plan. All contributions to the plan to date have been funded by the employees and, therefore, we have no associated expense related to the deferred compensation plan for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, other than minor administrative costs.
The entire disclosure for compensation-related costs for equity-based compensation, which may include disclosure of policies, compensation plan details, allocation of equity compensation, incentive distributions, equity-based arrangements to obtain goods and services, deferred compensation arrangements, employee stock ownership plan details and employee stock purchase plan details.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef