Corp. acquisition recording transactions question.



I've been reading the archives, and i think i know how to do this, but
wanted to confirm this is the best way.

AT&T just acquired bellsouth ( i own both), and issued 1.325 shares of
AT&T for every share of Bellsouth. Inconveninetly for me, i have about
20-30 lots of bellsouth shares from dividends being reinvested. For tax
purposes it seems i need to enter each of these lots as a separate
transaction in Quicken '05, specifying a new cost basis for each lot
(divide the price i paid for each lot by 1.325 for the cost basis, and
i get number of shares * 1.325 for AT&T).

My question is what type of transaction is best to do this? Do i just
put it as "Add -Shares added" entering number of shares of AT&T, and my
cost basis? Putting the transaction date as today, and the "Date
Acquired" as the original purchase date of my bellsouth shares?
Then i would add another transaction removing all my bellsouth shares?

Wow...this is a pain in the ass.

thanks for the help



R. C. White

Hi, Jason.
Wow...this is a pain in the ass.

You have two sets of problems. The first is to determine your basis in your
AT&T Inc. shares for each lot of BellSouth Corp. shares that you held at the
close of the acquisition on 12/29/06. Your second set of problems is how to
enter that into Quicken.

The first problem is worked out for you on BellSouth's Investor Relations
page. For the worksheet, see:

BellSouth provides 7 different calculations, depending on the time period
when you acquired each of your lots. Each of the calculations is
straightforward; your problem is that you will have to do it multiple times,
as you expected: one calculation for each lot of BellSouth shares. Once
you have made all those calculations, then you calculate your gain (or loss)
on sale of your fractional share - if you were entitled to a fraction. That
means that you will have to determine WHICH fractional share was sold: Was
it what you got for your earliest BellSouth lot, or for your latest, or for
one of the lots in between. Unless you have a reason to choose otherwise,
use the FIFO (First In, First Out) rule and report the sale of a fraction of
the shares you received for your earliest lot. Report this as a sale on
12/29/06; the selling price is the amount of the check you get. Your cost
basis is what you just computed for that earliest batch, times the fraction,
and your acquisition date is the date you bought that lot. Your capital
gain will be less than the price of one share, of course, and less than your
check. Your basis for that fractional share will be subtracted from your
recomputed basis for all of that first lot.

All this calculation is simple enough, but tedious because of the multiple
lots. You don't really have to make the calculations until you sell all or
some of the AT&T shares, but it's best to do it now while your memory is
fresh and the information is readily available.

Now, how to put this into Quicken...

As you must have seen when you read the archives, Quicken has a "wizard" to
handle this. In the Q2007 I'm running now it is a drop-down menu when we
click "Enter Transactions"; in Q2005 I think it was still called "Easy
Actions". The one you want is "Corporate Acquisition (stock for stock)".
The Company acquired is BellSouth, the Acquiring company is AT&T, and the
New shares issued per held share is 1.325. (You can ignore the box for
Price per share for acquiring company; this does not enter into the
calculation of your new basis in any way, and the question need not even be
asked.) Quicken should automatically adjust each lot of your BellSouth
stock to reflect the new number of shares and the new basis per share, and
add it to your AT&T holdings. Each lot should still show its original
acquisition date. You then record the sale of the fractional share, and
you're done for now.

Your basis in your previously held AT&T shares should not change at all
because of this transaction. Your total basis for all your new AT&T shares
(before sale of the fractional share) should equal your original total basis
for all your BellSouth shares.

The underlying theory of this transaction is that you own no more and no
less after the acquisition than you did before, and it cost you no more or
less than what you paid for your BellSouth shares. And your investment
dates from when you acquired each lot of BellSouth. The 12/29/06 date is
when the form of your holdings changed, but it is not significant in
determining whether your eventual gain or loss on your AT&T shares is
long-term or short-term.

I'm up late and getting sleepy. I hope I don't spot some subtle - or
glaring - error when I read this post again tomorrow. ;^} And, as always,
you should have your own CPA review this to be sure that the rules haven't
changed in the dozen years since I retired.

R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(Retired. No longer licensed to practice public accounting.)
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP
(Currently running Vista Ultimate x64)




Thanks for hte very detailed response RC.
Oh, in using "Corporate Acquisition" it looks like each lot cost basis
is already recalculated in quicken, when that lot is added to AT&T?

I tried this yesterday and i must have messed something up b/c it
didn't work. But now it seems fine....


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