A spinoff that disappeared

michael.triplett@mac.com's Avatar


20 Nov, 2021 05:21 PM

I own Realty Income (O) in an account on Moneydance. They recently "merged" with a competitor by creating a separate company and gave each O owner 1 share of the new company, Orion Office REIT (ONL) for every 10 shares of O.

I owned and continued to own 1,368 shares of O, so I was entitled to 136 shares of ONL.

The transaction never showed up on my Register, although the new stock shows up on the list of available securities in Moneydance. So it knows it happened, but there's no record.

How can I account for the new shares in ONL without incurring a cost to the account? Remember, I now own 136 shares of ONL and my original stake in O did not change from 1,368 shares.

  1. 1 Posted by sth on 22 Nov, 2021 04:23 PM

    sth's Avatar

    Make a "buy" transaction of ONL at zero cost. This assumes that the new company is at zero basis cost.

    If not, specify MiscIncome from O for the basis cost and then a buy of ONL at the basis cost.

    (Not IK Support)

  2. 2 Posted by michael.triplet... on 23 Nov, 2021 06:09 PM

    michael.triplett@mac.com's Avatar

    It worked in a weird sort of way. I was unable to “buy” 136 shares at $0.00 (it defaults to $100), but I could at $0.01.

    I can live with a $1.36 error.

    Michael Triplett
    Triplett Enterprises Ltd.
    [email blocked] <mailto:[email blocked]>

  3. 3 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 23 Nov, 2021 06:10 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    MD hates a price/cost of zero... 0.01 is the workaround

  4. 4 Posted by sth on 23 Nov, 2021 09:06 PM

    sth's Avatar

    You should be able to edit either the per/share price or the total amount as zero. You can correct the error if you leave it like it is by declaring a brokerage fee of negative $1.36.

  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 23 Nov, 2021 09:45 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    I would question if you 'really' received the new shares at zero cost, which i what a buy at zero cost implies.

    The 1,368 shares you had I expect cost something say $X and a simple division gives you the cost per share.

    You cannot and should not wipe out this cost.

    I think it would be more accurate to say you received $X back and that the 136 shares you now have also cost $X.

    Based on this I would look to enter a sales of the shares of 1,368 in O for a total amount of $X and a purchase of 136 ONL for a total cost of $X.

    This I believe would give you your correct cost base for ONL.

    What is effectively happening is a stock for stock transaction, no money changes hands but the number of shares you own changes, the company the shares are in changes but the total cost remains the same. Moneydance does not have this type of transaction so we need to use Sells and Buys to mimic it.

  6. 6 Posted by sth on 23 Nov, 2021 09:56 PM

    sth's Avatar

    @dwg. I agree completely. Each spinoff technically reduces the basis cost of the original company by some percentage. This is reported to the SEC (in the US) and is a fixed number for tax purposes.

    Thus the spinoff is misc income from the original stock and then a purchase at that new basis cost for the spinoff corporation. This reduces the basis cost of the original stock by the same percentage..

  7. 7 Posted by dwg on 23 Nov, 2021 10:16 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I've reread the OP and can see there looks to be a return of capital event (I misread it as a complete takeover) but I'm still not certain.

    From a Moneydance point of view this complicates it as there is no RoC transaction type.

    I have found I can only maintain MD data at the total level in this case use Average cost basis and maintain lot information separately. To do this I have had to enter sells at zeros cost to drop the total cost basis and then enter a buy in the newly formed company using the return of capital funds.

    The company should advise the details of how the spin off worked since RoC ,while it is the usual way, it is not the only way they could fund a spin off - a special dividend is sometimes used (that makes it a whole lot easier).

    I've been advocating for quite some time for a RoC action type to be added to Moneydance.

  8. 8 Posted by sth on 23 Nov, 2021 10:44 PM

    sth's Avatar

    @dwg, I agree it seems to be an RoC event. It would be nice if there was some way of having MD handle this gracefully. Making a proportional drop in the basis cost of the different lots is not really possible. I had a real mess with a stock that split into 3 new companies and then one reconverted back into the old company after a year. Had to keep some of the tax info outside of MD.

    Back in MD 2014, I recall a posting by Sean that he hoped to improve the investment tracking and handling and with more analysis. But seems busy just trying to keep up with banks constantly changing protocols. Sort of a Red Queen situation.

  9. 9 Posted by dwg on 23 Nov, 2021 11:48 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I've had a number of conversations with Sean on RoC as that is one of my biggest issues as I have these occur every 6 months and legally I have to maintain the information to determine eventual capital gains on a lot basis.

    I have found I have to just keep the top level view in Moneydance and maintain the lot information along with the return on a lot basis in a spreadsheet.

    Very few programs do RoC. I know Quicken/Reckon is one but I have since found that it cannot handle all cases as needed - Stapled securities being one. Shame is that I can see a way of handling those properly in MD if it had a RoC function.

    Going back to Reckon is not an option I would consider :)

  10. 10 Posted by sth on 25 Nov, 2021 04:36 AM

    sth's Avatar

    Agree, it is not an optimal solution now and that having a RoC capability in MD would be a help. Having it change basis cost on a by-lot basis might be tricky but also doable. However it is a lot of work and Sean is barely keeping up with the banks throwing curve balls.

    I am not sure of the resolution here to getting more investment features in MD while keeping the main program compatible with the changing financial industry. I still get weird ROI numbers in the reports.

  11. System closed this discussion on 24 Feb, 2022 04:40 AM.

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