For the share awards outstanding at December 31, 2017, the aforementioned restriction will lapse in 2018 for 14,100 shares, in 2019 for 22,675 shares, in 2020 for 250 shares and in 2021 for 14,550 shares. Also, in early 2018, the Company issued stock awards of 200 shares. Stock-based compensation costs resulting from Company stock awards were $8.1 million, $11.0 million and $25.3 million in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.
As of December 31, 2017, there was $10.2 million of total unrecognized compensation expense related to these awards. That cost is expected to be recognized on a straight-line basis over a weighted average period of 1.4 years.
Stock Options. The Company’s 2003 employee stock option plan reserves 1,900,000 shares of the Company’s Class B common stock for options to be granted under the plan. The purchase price of the shares covered by an option cannot be less than the fair value on the grant date. Options generally vest over four years and have a maximum term of ten years. At December 31, 2017, there were 79,589 shares reserved for issuance under this stock option plan, which were all subject to options outstanding.
Stock options granted under the 2012 Plan cannot be less than the fair value on the grant date, generally vest over four years and have a maximum term of ten years. In 2017 and 2015, grants were issued that vest over six years.
Activity related to options outstanding for the year ended December 31, 2017 was as follows:
Number of Shares
Average Option Price
Beginning of year
Expired or forfeited
End of Year
In connection with the spin-off of Cable ONE, the Company modified outstanding stock options to add an antidilution provision. This resulted in an incremental stock compensation expense of $23.5 million, of which $18.8 million related to fully vested stock options was recognized as a one-time expense in the third quarter of 2015, with the remaining $4.7 million to be recognized over the remaining service periods of the unvested stock options through the end of 2018. The $18.8 million expense is included in the Company’s corporate office segment results and in selling, general and administrative in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
Of the shares covered by options outstanding at the end of 2017, 128,394 are now exercisable; 17,332 will become exercisable in 2018; 17,333 will become exercisable in 2019; 17,334 will become exercisable in 2020; 4,459 will become exercisable in 2021; 333 will become exercisable in 2022; and 335 will become exercisable in 2023. For 2017, 2016 and 2015, the Company recorded expense of $2.0 million, $2.4 million and $22.9 million related to stock options, respectively. Information related to stock options outstanding and exercisable at December 31, 2017, is as follows:
Range of Exercise Prices
Shares Outstanding at 12/31/2017
Shares Exercisable at 12/31/2017
At December 31, 2017, the intrinsic value for all options outstanding, exercisable and unvested was $19.3 million, $19.3 million and $0.0 million, respectively. 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 option. The market value of the Company’s stock was $558.35 at December 31, 2017. At December 31, 2017, there were 57,126 unvested options related to this plan with an average exercise price of $770.67 and a weighted average remaining contractual term of 7.2 years. At December 31, 2016, there were 72,124 unvested options with an average exercise price of $761.30 and a weighted average remaining contractual term of 8.1 years.
As of December 31, 2017, total unrecognized stock-based compensation expense related to stock options was $6.4 million, which is expected to be recognized on a straight-line basis over a weighted average period of approximately 3.2 years. There were 3,476 options exercised during 2017. The total intrinsic value of options exercised during 2017 was $0.7 million; a tax benefit from these stock option exercises of $0.3 million was realized. There were