SAN FRANCISCO - Wells Fargo & Co. announced a companywide stock-option grant, in which nearly all of its 117,000 employees received 100 to 400 options, depending on their salaries and full- or part-time status.

It was the second such grant in two years. Wells employees received 200 options each when the company completed its merger with Norwest Corp. of Minneapolis in 1998, creating a $263 billion-asset company.

Increasingly, companies like Wells Fargo have used options grants as a way to attract and retain employees and reward workers for hitting performance targets. "These grants help all of our team members to think and act as owners more than ever before," said Richard Kovacevich, Wells' president and chief executive officer, in a statement Monday.

The new 10-year options have a fixed price of $46.50 a share. They can be exercised after five years or when the stock price closes at or above $80. Wells Fargo's stock was trading at $46.812 at Monday's market close. Full-time employees got either 200 or 400 options, based on their salary levels, and part-time employees got 100 options.

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