MicroStrategy (MSTR) Could Merit S&P 500 Index Inclusion if It Adopts New Accounting Rules: Benchmark

MicroStrategy’s corporate strategy is partly based on the acquisition and holding of bitcoin. As of March 19 it held 214,246 bitcoin worth $13.9 billion at current prices. Benchmark notes that since the software company started holding bitcoin on its balance sheet it has recorded $2.27 billion in cumulative impairment losses due to a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) rule called ASC 350.

The FASB issued new guidance in December last year that allows companies that hold digital assets on their balance sheet to measure them at fair value, and record changes in fair value in net income in each reporting period. The new rules become effective as of Jan. 1, 2025, but early adoption of the standard is allowed.

“The impact of doing so on MSTR’s reported earnings per share would be massive: the company in its 2023 10-K report estimated that early adoption would increase its 2024 beginning retained earnings balance by ~$3.1 billion,” analyst Mark Palmer wrote.

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