In (1), does "dictating" mean "controlling" in the context? I think "what our nest eggs were worth" refers to "our company," but I'm not sure. The "nest eggs" are the sums of money which are in the pensions scheme for each employee. The size of these is affected by the activities of the shareholders.
In (2), what's the meaning of "appreciate" there, "raise in value?" And is "made up front" a connected expression? Appreciate here is exactly that. The employees should have recognized with gratitude how much money was inthe pension funds.
Could I rewrite (3) like -it would have been much higher "if it had not been for a continuing compression of the P/E ratio of UPS stock?" And I'm not sure of what "compression" means there. Is it something like "a continuing decline of the P/E ratio?" I think this would make sense.
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