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Common Stock
Common stock is a form of corporate equity ownership, a type of security. The terms voting share and ordinary share are also used frequently outside of the United States. They are known as equity shares or ordinary shares in the UK and other Commonwealth realms. This type of share gives the stockholder the right to share in the profits of the company, and to vote on matters of corporate policy and the composition of the members of the board of directors. The owners of common stock do not own any particular assets of the company, which belong to all the shareholders in common. A corporation may issue both ordinary and preference shares, in which case the preference shareholders have priority to receive dividends. In the event of liquidation, ordinary shareholders receive any remaining funds after bondholders, creditors (including employees), and preference shareholders are paid. When the liquidation happens through bankruptcy, the ordinary shareholders typically receive nothin ...
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Equity (finance)
In finance, equity is ownership of assets that may have debts or other liabilities attached to them. Equity is measured for accounting purposes by subtracting liabilities from the value of the assets. For example, if someone owns a car worth $24,000 and owes $10,000 on the loan used to buy the car, the difference of $14,000 is equity. Equity can apply to a single asset, such as a car or house, or to an entire business. A business that needs to start up or expand its operations can sell its equity in order to raise cash that does not have to be repaid on a set schedule. In government finance or other non-profit settings, equity is known as "net position" or "net assets". Origins The term "equity" describes this type of ownership in English because it was regulated through the system of equity law that developed in England during the Late Middle Ages to meet the growing demands of commercial activity. While the older common law courts dealt with questions of property title, equi ...
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Shareholder Rights Plan
A shareholder rights plan, colloquially known as a "poison pill", is a type of defensive tactic used by a corporation's board of directors against a takeover. In the field of mergers and acquisitions, shareholder rights plans were devised in the early 1980s as a way to prevent takeover bids by taking away a shareholder's right to negotiate a price for the sale of shares directly. Typically, such a plan gives shareholders the right to buy more shares at a discount if one shareholder buys a certain percentage or more of the company's shares. The plan could be triggered, for instance, if any one shareholder buys 20% of the company's shares, at which point every shareholder (except the one who possesses 20%) will have the right to buy a new issue of shares at a discount. If all other shareholders are able to buy more shares at a discount, such purchases would dilute the bidder's interest, and the cost of the bid would rise substantially. Knowing that such a plan could be activated, th ...
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Stock Market Terminology
In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all the shares by which ownership of a corporation or company is divided.Longman Business English Dictionary: "stock - ''especially AmE'' one of the shares into which ownership of a company is divided, or these shares considered together" "When a company issues shares or stocks ''especially AmE'', it makes them available for people to buy for the first time." (Especially in American English, the word "stocks" is also used to refer to shares.) A single share of the stock means fractional ownership of the corporation in proportion to the total number of shares. This typically entitles the shareholder (stockholder) to that fraction of the company's earnings, proceeds from liquidation of assets (after discharge of all senior claims such as secured and unsecured debt), or voting power, often dividing these up in proportion to the amount of money each stockholder has invested. Not all stock is necessarily equal, as certain classes ...
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Treasury Stock
A treasury stock or reacquired stock is stock which is bought back by the issuing company, reducing the amount of outstanding stock on the open market ("open market" including insiders' holdings). Stock repurchases are used as a tax efficient method to put cash into shareholders' hands, rather than paying dividends, in jurisdictions that treat capital gains more favorably. Sometimes, companies repurchase their stock when they feel that it is undervalued on the open market. Other times, companies repurchase their stock to reduce dilution from incentive compensation plans for employees. Another reason for stock repurchase is to protect the company against a takeover threat.Robert T. Sprouse, "Accounting for treasury stock transactions: Prevailing practices and new statutory provisions." ''Columbia Law Review'' 59.6 (1959): 882-900online/ref> The United Kingdom equivalent of treasury stock as used in the United States is treasury share. Treasury stocks in the UK refers to governm ...
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Shares Outstanding
Shares outstanding are all the shares of a corporation that have been authorized, issued and purchased by investors and are held by them. They are distinguished from treasury shares, which are shares held by the corporation itself, thus representing no exercisable rights. Shares outstanding and treasury shares together amount to the number of issued shares. Shares outstanding can be calculated as either basic or fully diluted. The basic count is the current number of shares. Dividend distributions and voting in the general meeting of shareholders are calculated according to this number. The fully diluted shares outstanding count, on the other hand, includes diluting securities, such as warrants, capital notes or convertibles. If the company has any diluting securities, this indicates the potential future increased number of shares outstanding. Finding the number of shares outstanding The number of outstanding shares may change due to changes in the number of issued shares, as ...
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Shares Issued
In finance and law, issued shares are the shares of a corporation which have been allocated (allotted) and are subsequently held by shareholders. The act of creating new issued shares is called ''issuance''. Allotment is simply the transfer of shares to a subscriber. After allotment, a subscriber becomes a shareholder, though usually that also requires formal entry in a share registry. Overview The number of shares that can be issued is limited to the total authorized shares. Issued shares are those shares which the board of directors and/or shareholders have agreed to issue, and which have been issued. Issued shares are the sum of outstanding shares held by shareholders; and treasury shares are shares which had been issued but have been repurchased by the corporation, and which generally have no voting rights or rights to dividends. The issued shares of a corporation form the equity capital of the corporation, and some corporations are required by law to have a minimum value ...
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Shares Authorized
The authorised capital of a company sometimes referred to as the authorised share capital, registered capital or nominal capital, particularly in the United States) is the maximum amount of share capital that the company is authorised by its constitutional documents to issue (allocate) to shareholders. Part of the authorised capital can (and frequently does) remain unissued. The authorised capital can be changed with shareholders' approval. The part of the authorised capital which has been issued to shareholders is referred to as the issued share capital of the company. The device of the authorised capital is used to limit or control the ability of the directors to issue or allot new shares, which may have consequences in the control of a company or otherwise alter the balance of control between shareholders. Such an issue of shares to new shareholders may also shift the profit distribution balance, for example if new shares are issued at face value and not at market value. The ...
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Share Capital
A corporation's share capital, commonly referred to as capital stock in the United States, is the portion of a corporation's equity that has been derived by the issue of shares in the corporation to a shareholder, usually for cash. "Share capital" may also denote the number and types of shares that compose a corporation's share structure. Definition In accounting, the share capital of a corporation is the nominal value of issued shares (that is, the sum of their par values, sometimes indicated on share certificates). If the allocation price of shares is greater than the par value, as in a rights issue, the shares are said to be sold at a premium (variously called share premium, additional paid-in capital or paid-in capital in excess of par). Commonly, the share capital is the total of the nominal share capital and the premium share capital. Most jurisdictions do not allow a company to issue shares below par value, but if permitted they are said to be issued at a discount or part ...
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Equity (finance)
In finance, equity is ownership of assets that may have debts or other liabilities attached to them. Equity is measured for accounting purposes by subtracting liabilities from the value of the assets. For example, if someone owns a car worth $24,000 and owes $10,000 on the loan used to buy the car, the difference of $14,000 is equity. Equity can apply to a single asset, such as a car or house, or to an entire business. A business that needs to start up or expand its operations can sell its equity in order to raise cash that does not have to be repaid on a set schedule. In government finance or other non-profit settings, equity is known as "net position" or "net assets". Origins The term "equity" describes this type of ownership in English because it was regulated through the system of equity law that developed in England during the Late Middle Ages to meet the growing demands of commercial activity. While the older common law courts dealt with questions of property title, equi ...
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Common Stock Dividend
A common stock dividend is the dividend paid to common stock owners from the profits of the company. Like other dividends, the payout is in the form of either cash or stock. The law may regulate the size of the common stock dividend particularly when the payout is a cash distribution tantamount to a liquidation. Such cash dividends may serve the intent of defrauding creditors. Cash dividend A cash dividend is the distribution of profits to the common stock shareholders, the owners of the corporation. Such distributions are in equal amounts to the shareholders depending on the portion of the company they own. Stock dividend A stock dividend to common stock dividend owners distributes additional stock in the company to the common stock shareholders. Such dividends are evenly distributed to the shareholders depending on their portion of ownership in the corporation. Such distributions maintain their proportional ownership in the corporation. See also *Common stock * Common stock ...
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Capital Surplus
Capital surplus, also called share premium, is an account which may appear on a corporation's balance sheet, as a component of shareholders' equity, which represents the amount the corporation raises on the issue of shares in excess of their par value (nominal value) of the shares (common stock). This is called Additional paid in capital in US GAAP terminology but, additional paid in capital is not limited to share premium. It is a very broad concept and includes tax related and conversion related adjustments. Taken together, common stock (and sometimes preferred stock) issued and paid (plus capital surplus) represent the total amount actually paid by investors for shares when issued (assuming no subsequent adjustments or changes). Shares for which there is no par value will generally not have any form of capital surplus on the balance sheet; all funds from issuing shares will be credited to common stock issued. Some other scenarios for triggering a capital surplus include when ...
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Stock Class
In finance, a share class or share classification are different types of shares in company share capital that have different levels of voting rights. For example, a company might create two classes of shares class A share and a class B share where the class A shares have fewer rights than class B shareholders. This may be done to maintain control of a company by a group of shareholders or to make a company more difficult to take over. For example, a company may create preferred stock as a poison pill that so that all Shareholder of common stock cannot agree to a merger or takeover plan. There is no statutory procedure for converting shares from one class to another. It may be done with the consent of all the shareholders affected. The safest course is to pass a resolution to which all the shareholders consent because, in practice, changing the rights on one person's shares may well have an effect, at least in practice on the rights of all the other shareholders. Classes Companie ...
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