(Bloomberg) After Exelon Corp. earned less than top executives needed to reach their annual cash bonus target last year, the board of directors provided a way to help bridge the gap: nonexistent profits.

The board tacked on six cents a share—equal to $85 million—that the Chicago-based power company never made, augmenting earnings solely for the purpose of calculating bonuses. Exelon said that it would have earned the sum except for a regulatory setback on electricity rates and that the pennies helped thousands of employees avoid smaller payouts.

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