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Definition of Corporation

Corporation Image 1

Corporation

A legal "person" that is separate and distinct from its owners. A corporation is allowed to own
assets, incur liabilities, and sell securities, among other things.


Corporation

A legal entity, organized under state laws, whose investors purchase
shares of stock as evidence of ownership in it. A corporation is a legal entity, which
eliminates much of the liability for the corporation’s actions from its investors.


corporation

Business owned by stockholders who are not personally
liable for the business’s liabilities.



Related Terms:

Articles of incorporation

Legal document establishing a corporation and its structure and purpose.


Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation

Better known as CDIC, this is an organization which insures qualifying deposits and GICs at savings institutions, mainly banks and trust companys, which belong to the CDIC for amounts up to $60,000 and for terms of up to five years. Many types of deposits are not insured, such as mortgage-backed deposits, annuities of duration of more than five years, and mutual funds.


Controlled foreign corporation (CFC)

A foreign corporation whose voting stock is more than 50% owned
by U.S. stockholders, each of whom owns at least 10% of the voting power.



Domestic International Sales Corporation (DISC)

A U.S. corporation that receives a tax incentive for
export activities.


Edge corporations

Specialized banking institutions, authorized and chartered by the Federal Reserve Board
in the U.S., which are allowed to engage in transactions that have a foreign or international character. They
are not subject to any restrictions on interstate banking. Foreign banks operating in the U.S. are permitted to
organize and own and Edge corporation.


Corporation Image 2

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

A federal institution that insures bank deposits.


Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC)

A special type of corporation created by the Tax Reform Act of 1984 that
is designed to provide a tax incentive for exporting U.S.-produced goods.


Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation)

A Congressionally chartered corporation that
purchases residential mortgages in the secondary market from S&Ls, banks, and mortgage bankers and
securitizes these mortgages for sale into the capital markets.


Incorporation

Process by which a company receives its Articles of Incorporation allowing it to operate as a corporation.


Mortgage-Backed Securities Clearing Corporation

A wholly owned subsidiary of the Midwest Stock
Exchange that operates a clearing service for the comparison, netting, and margining of agency-guaranteed
MBSs transacted for forward delivery.


Multinational corporation

A firm that operates in more than one country.


Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

A federal agency that insures the vested benefits of
pension plan participants (established in 1974 by the ERISA legislation).


Possessions corporation

A type of corporation permitted under the U.S. tax code whereby a branch operation
in a U.S. possessions can obtain tax benefits as though it were operating as a foreign subsidiary.


Preferred Stock Stock that has a claim on assets and dividends of a corporation that are prior

to that of common stock. Preferred stock typically does not carry the right to vote.


Corporation Image 3

Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO)

Company that mobilizes private capital for financing the
export of big-ticket items by U.S. firms by purchasing at fixed interest rates the medium- to long-term debt
obligations of importers of U.S. products.


Administrative pricing rules

IRS rules used to allocate income on export sales to a foreign sales corporation.



Agency pass-throughs

Mortgage pass-through securities whose principal and interest payments are
guaranteed by government agencies, such as the Government National Mortgage Association ("Ginnie Mae"), Federal Home Loan Mortgage corporation ("Freddie Mac") and Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae").


American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)

Certificates issued by a U.S. depositary bank, representing foreign
shares held by the bank, usually by a branch or correspondent in the country of issue. One ADR may
represent a portion of a foreign share, one share or a bundle of shares of a foreign corporation. If the ADR's
are "sponsored," the corporation provides financial information and other assistance to the bank and may
subsidize the administration of the ADRs. "Unsponsored" ADRs do not receive such assistance. ADRs carry
the same currency, political and economic risks as the underlying foreign share; the prices of the two, adjusted for the SDR/ordinary ratio, are kept essentially identical by arbitrage. American depositary shares(ADSs) are
a similar form of certification.


authorized share capital

Maximum number of shares that the company is permitted to issue, as specified in the firm’s articles of incorporation.


basic earnings per share (EPS)

This important ratio equals the net
income for a period (usually one year) divided by the number capital
stock shares issued by a business corporation. This ratio is so important
for publicly owned business corporations that it is included in the daily
stock trading tables published by the Wall Street Journal, the New York
Times, and other major newspapers. Despite being a rather straightforward
concept, there are several technical problems in calculating
earnings per share. Actually, two EPS ratios are needed for many businesses—
basic EPS, which uses the actual number of capital shares outstanding,
and diluted EPS, which takes into account additional shares of
stock that may be issued for stock options granted by a business and
other stock shares that a business is obligated to issue in the future.
Also, many businesses report not one but two net income figures—one
before extraordinary gains and losses were recorded in the period and a
second after deducting these nonrecurring gains and losses. Many business
corporations issue more than one class of capital stock, which
makes the calculation of their earnings per share even more complicated.


Basket options

Packages that involve the exchange of more than two currencies against a base currency at
expiration. The basket option buyer purchases the right, but not the obligation, to receive designated
currencies in exchange for a base currency, either at the prevailing spot market rate or at a prearranged rate of
exchange. A basket option is generally used by multinational corporations with multicurrency cash flows
since it is generally cheaper to buy an option on a basket of currencies than to buy individual options on each
of the currencies that make up the basket.


Bond

Fixed interest security issued by a corporation or government, having a specific maturity date.


book value and book value per share

Generally speaking, these terms
refer to the balance sheet value of an asset (or less often of a liability) or
the balance sheet value of owners’ equity per share. Either term emphasizes
that the amount recorded in the accounts or on the books of a business
is the value being used. The total of the amounts reported for
owners’ equity in its balance sheet is divided by the number of stock
shares of a corporation to determine the book value per share of its capital
stock.


capital stock

Ownership shares issued by a business corporation. A business
corporation may issue more than one class of capital stock shares.
One class may give voting privileges in the election of the directors of the
corporation while the other class does not. One class (called preferred
stock) may entitle a certain amount of dividends per share before cash
dividends can be paid on the other class (usually called common stock).
Stock shares may have a minimum value at which they have to be issued
(called the par value), or stock shares can be issued for any amount
(called no-par stock). Stock shares may be traded on public markets such
as the New York Stock Exchange or over the Nasdaq network. There are
about 10,000 stocks traded on public markets (although estimates vary
on this number). In this regard, I find it very interesting that there are
more than 8,000 mutual funds that invest in stocks.


Capitalization ratios

Also called financial leverage ratios, these ratios compare debt to total capitalization
and thus reflect the extent to which a corporation is trading on its equity. Capitalization ratios can be
interpreted only in the context of the stability of industry and company earnings and cash flow.


Corporation Image 4

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)

A not-for-profit corporation owned by its members. Its primary
functions are to provide a location for trading futures and options, collect and disseminate market information,
maintain a clearing mechanism and enforce trading rules.



Closed-end fund

An investment company that sells shares like any other corporation and usually does not
redeem its shares. A publicly traded fund sold on stock exchanges or over the counter that may trade above or
below its net asset value. Related: Open-end fund.


Commercial paper

Short-term unsecured promissory notes issued by a corporation. The maturity of
commercial paper is typically less than 270 days; the most common maturity range is 30 to 50 days or less.


common stock

Ownership shares in a publicly held corporation.


Common Stock

That part of the capital stock of a corporation that carries voting rights and represents
the last claim on assets and dividends.


Conflict between bondholders and stockholders

These two groups may have interests in a corporation that
conflict. Sources of conflict include dividends, distortion of investment, and underinvestment. Protective
covenants work to resolve these conflicts.


controller

the chief accountant (in a corporation) who is responsible
for maintaining and reporting on both the cost
and financial sets of accounts but does not handle or negotiate
changes in actual resources


Corporate bonds

Debt obligations issued by corporations.


Corporate charter

A legal document creating a corporation.


Corporate financial management

The application of financial principals within a corporation to create and
maintain value through decision making and proper resource management.


Credit Union

Credit unions are community based financial co-operatives and most offer a full range of services. All are owned and controlled by members who are also shareholders. Credit unions are regulated provincially and insured by a stabilization fund, deposit insurance or guarantee corporation.
Credit unions are supported by a system of provincial credit union Centrals, a national credit union Central and affiliated national financial co-operatives.


Cross holdings

One corporation holds shares in another firm.


Cumulative voting

A system of voting for directors of a corporation in which shareholder's total number of
votes is equal to his number of shares held times the number of candidates.


Dead Peasants Insurance

Also known as "Dead Janitors Insurance", this is the practice, where allowed, in several U.S. states, of numerous well known large American corporations taking out corporate owned life insurance policies on millions of their regular employees, often without the knowledge or consent of those employees. corporations profiting from the deaths of their employees [and sometimes ex-employees] have attracted adverse publicity because ultimate death benefits are seldom, even partially passed down to surviving families.


diluted earnings per share (EPS)

This measure of earnings per share
recognizes additional stock shares that may be issued in the future for
stock options and as may be required by other contracts a business has
entered into, such as convertible features in its debt securities and preferred
stock. Both basic earnings per share and, if applicable, diluted
earnings per share are reported by publicly owned business corporations.
Often the two EPS figures are not far apart, but in some cases the
gap is significant. Privately owned businesses do not have to report earnings
per share. See also basic earnings per share.


Distributions

Payments from fund or corporate cash flow. May include dividends from earnings, capital
gains from sale of portfolio holdings and return of capital. Fund distributions can be made by check or by
investing in additional shares. Funds are required to distribute capital gains (if any) to shareholders at least
once per year. Some corporations offer Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRP).


Dividend

As the term dividend relates to a corporation's earnings, a dividend is an amount paid per share from a corporation's after tax profits. Depending on the type of share, it may or may not have the right to earn any dividends and corporations may reduce or even suspend dividend payments if they are not doing well. Some dividends are paid in the form of additional shares of the corporation. Dividends paid by Canadian corporations qualify for the dividend tax credit and are taxed at lower rates than other income.
As the term dividend relates to a life insurance policy, it means that if that policy is "participating", the policy owner is entitled to participate in an equitable distribution of the surplus earnings of the insurance company which issued the policy. Surpluses arise primarily from three sources:
1) the difference between anticipated and actual operating expenses,
2) the difference between anticipated and actual claims experience, and
3) interest earned on investments over and above the rate required to maintain policy reserves. Having regard to the source of the surplus, the "dividend" so paid can be considered, in part at least, as a refund of part of the premium paid by the policy owner.
Life insurance policy owners of participating policies usually have four and sometimes five dividend options from which to choose:
1) take the dividend in cash,
2) apply the dividend to reduce current premiums,
3) leave the dividends on deposit with the insurance company to accumulate at interest like a savings plan,
4) use the dividends to purchase paid-up whole life insurance to mature at the same time as the original policy,
5) use the dividends to purchase one year term insurance equal to the guaranteed cash value at the end of the policy year, with any portion of the dividend not required for this purpose being applied under one of the other dividend options.
NOTE: It is suggested here that if you have a participating whole life policy and at the time of purchase received a "dividend projection" of incredible future savings, ask for a current projection. Life insurance company's surpluses are not what they used to be.


Dividends

Profits paid out to shareholders by a corporation.


Equity

Ownership. Common stock represents equity in a corporation.


Equity investment

Through equity investment, investors gain part ownership of the corporation. The primary type of equity investment is corporate stock.


FDIC

Federal Deposit Insurance corporation.


Federal agency securities

Securities issued by corporations and agencies created by the U.S. government,
such as the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and Ginnie Mae.


financial reports and statements

Financial means having to do with
money and economic wealth. Statement means a formal presentation.
Financial reports are printed and a copy is sent to each owner and each
major lender of the business. Most public corporations make their financial
reports available on a web site, so all or part of the financial report
can be downloaded by anyone. Businesses prepare three primary financial
statements: the statement of financial condition, or balance sheet;
the statement of cash flows; and the income statement. These three key
financial statements constitute the core of the periodic financial reports
that are distributed outside a business to its shareowners and lenders.
Financial reports also include footnotes to the financial statements and
much other information. Financial statements are prepared according to
generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which are the authoritative
rules that govern the measurement of net income and the reporting
of profit-making activities, financial condition, and cash flows.
Internal financial statements, although based on the same profit
accounting methods, report more information to managers for decision
making and control. Sometimes, financial statements are called simply
financials.


Foreign direct investment (FDI)

The acquisition abroad of physical assets such as plant and equipment, with
operating control residing in the parent corporation.


Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae)

A wholly owned U.S. government corporation
within the Department of Housing & Urban Development. Ginnie Mae guarantees the timely payment of
principal and interest on securities issued by approved servicers that are collateralized by FHA-issued, VAguaranteed,
or Farmers Home Administration (FmHA)-guaranteed mortgages.


Gross domestic product (GDP)

The market value of goods and services produced over time including the
income of foreign corporations and foreign residents working in the U.S., but excluding the income of U.S.
residents and corporations overseas.


Holding company

A corporation that owns enough voting stock in another firm to control management and
operations by influencing or electing its board of directors.


Income statement (statement of operations)

A statement showing the revenues, expenses, and income (the
difference between revenues and expenses) of a corporation over some period of time.


Income tax

A government tax on the income earned by an individual or corporation.


Index warrant

A stock index option issued by either a corporate or sovereign entity as part of a security
offering, and guaranteed by an option clearing corporation.


Industrial revenue bond (IRB)

Bond issued by local government agencies on behalf of corporations.


Insiders

These are directors and senior officers of a corporation -- in effect those who have access to inside
information about a company. An insider also is someone who owns more than 10% of the voting shares of a
company.


Insured Mortgage

An insured mortgage protects only the mortgage lender in case you do not make your mortgage payments. This coverage is provided by CMHC [Canada Mortgage and Housing corporation] and is required if a person has a high-ratio mortgage. [A mortgage is high-ratio if the amount borrowed is more than 75% of the purchase price or appraised value, whichever is less.]


Intercompany loan

Loan made by one unit of a corporation to another unit of the same corporation.


Intercompany transaction

Transaction carried out between two units of the same corporation.


International Depository Receipt (IDR)

A receipt issued by a bank as evidence of ownership of one or more
shares of the underlying stock of a foreign corporation that the bank holds in trust. The advantage of the IDR
structure is that the corporation does not have to comply with all the regulatory issuing requirements of the
foreign country where the stock is to be traded. The U.S. version of the IDR is the American Depository
Receipt (ADR).


Investment Banker

Middleman between a corporation issuing new securities and the public. The middleman buys the securities issue outright and then resells it to customers. Also called an underwriter.


Investor relations

The process by which the corporation communicates with its investors.


Labour-Sponsored Venture Funds

Venture capital corporations established by labour unions. They function as other venture capital corporations but are subject to government regulation.


Leverage clientele

A group of shareholders who, because of their personal leverage, seek to invest in
corporations that maintain a compatible degree of corporate leverage.


Leveraged buyout (LBO)

A transaction used for taking a public corporation private financed through the use
of debt funds: bank loans and bonds. Because of the large amount of debt relative to equity in the new
corporation, the bonds are typically rated below investment grade, properly referred to as high-yield bonds or
junk bonds. Investors can participate in an LBO through either the purchase of the debt (i.e., purchase of the
bonds or participation in the bank loan) or the purchase of equity through an LBO fund that specializes in
such investments.


limited liability

The owners of the corporation are not personally responsible for its obligations.


Look-thru

A method for calculating U.S. taxes owed on income from controlled foreign corporations that
was introduced by the Tax Reform Act of 1986.


Market Capitalization

Aggregate value of a corporation as determined by the market price of its total issued and outstanding stock.


Mortgage Insurance

Commonly sold in the form of reducing term life insurance by lending institutions, this is life insurance with a death benefit reducing to zero over a specific period of time, usually 20 to 25 years. In most instances, the cost of coverage remains level, while the death benefit continues to decline. Re-stated, the cost of this kind of insurance is actually increasing since less death benefit is paid as the outstanding mortgage balance decreases while the cost remains the same. Lending institutions are the most popular sources for this kind of coverage because it is usually sold during the purchase of a new mortgage. The untrained institution mortgage sales person often gives the impression that this is the only place mortgage insurance can be purchased but it is more efficiently purchased at a lower cost and with more flexibility, directly from traditional life insurance companies. No matter where it is purchased, the reducing term insurance death benefit reduces over a set period of years. Most consumers are up-sizing their residences, not down-sizing, so it is likely that more coverage is required as years pass, rather than less coverage.
The cost of mortgage lender's insurance group coverage is based on a blended non-smoker/smoker rate, not having any advantage to either male or female. Mortgage lender's group insurance certificate specifies that it [the lender] is the sole beneficiary entitled to receive the death benefit. Mortgage lender's group insurance is not portable and is not guaranteed. Generally speaking, your coverage is void if you do not occupy the house for a period of time, rent the home, fall into arrears on the mortgage, and there are a few others which vary by institution. If, for example, you sell your home and buy another, your current mortgage insurance coverage ends and you will have to qualify for new coverage when you purchase your next home. Maybe you won't be able to qualify. Not being guaranteed means that it is possible for the lending institution's group insurance carrier to cancel all policy holder's coverages if they are experiencing too many death benefit claims.
Mortgage insurance purchased from a life insurance company, is priced, based on gender, smoking status, health and lifestyle of the purchaser. Once obtained, it is a unilateral contract in your favour, which cannot be cancelled by the insurance company unless you say so or unless you stop paying for it. It pays upon the death of the life insured to any "named beneficiary" you choose, tax free. If, instead of reducing term life insurance, you have purchased enough level or increasing life insurance coverage based on your projection of future need, you can buy as many new homes in the future as you want and you won't have to worry about coverage you might loose by renewing or increasing your mortgage.
It is worth mentioning mortgage creditor protection insurance since it is many times mistakenly referred to simply as mortgage insurance. If a home buyer has a limited amount of down payment towards a substantial home purchase price, he/she may qualify for a high ratio mortgage on a home purchase if a lump sum fee is paid for mortgage creditor protection insurance. The only Canadian mortgage lenders currently known to offer this option through the distribution system of banks and trust companies, are General Electric Capital [GE Capital] and Central Mortgage and Housing corporation [CMHC]. The lump sum fee is mandatory when the mortgage is more than 75% of the value of the property being purchased. The lump sum fee is usually added onto the mortgage. It's important to realize that the only beneficiary of this type of coverage is the morgage lender, which is the bank or trust company through which the buyer arranged their mortgage. If the buyer for some reason defaults on this kind of high ratio mortgage and the value of the property has dropped since being purchased, the mortgage creditor protection insurance makes certain that the bank or trust company gets paid. However, this is not the end of the story, because whatever the difference is, between the disposition value of the property and whatever sum of unpaid mortgage money is outstanding to either GE Capital or CMHC will be the subject of collection procedures against the defaulting home buyer. Therefore, one should conclude that this kind of insurance offers protection only to the bank or trust company and absolutely no protection to the home buyer.


Opinion shopping

A practice prohibited by the SEC which involves attempts by a corporation to obtain
reporting objectives by following questionable accounting principles with the help of a pliable auditor willing
to go along with the desired treatment.


organizational form

an entity’s legal nature (for example,
sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)


Owner

This is the person who owns the insurance policy. It is usually the same person as the insured but it could be someone else who has the permission of the insured to be the owner, like a spouse, a common-law-spouse, an offspring, a parent, a corporation with insurable interest or a business partner with insurable interest. In order for someone else to be an owner of your policy, they have to have a legitimate insurable interest in you.


Policyholder

This is the person who owns a life insurance policy. This is usually the insured person, but it may also be a relative of the insured, a partnership or a corporation. There are instances in marriage breakup (or relationship breakup with dependent children) where appropriate life insurance on the support provider, owned and paid for by the ex-spouse receiving the support is an acceptable method of ensuring future security.


Pool factor

The outstanding principal balance divided by the original principal balance with the result
expressed as a decimal. Pool factors are published monthly by the Bond Buyer newspaper for Ginnie Mae,
Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac(Federal Home Loan Mortgage corporation) MBSs.


Preferred stock

A security that shows ownership in a corporation and gives the holder a claim, prior to the
claim of common stockholders, on earnings and also generally on assets in the event of liquidation. Most
preferred stock pays a fixed dividend that is paid prior to the common stock dividend, stated in a dollar
amount or as a percentage of par value. This stock does not usually carry voting rights. The stock shares
characteristics of both common stock and debt.


primary market

Market for the sale of new securities by corporations.


Profit center

An entity within a corporation against which both revenues and costs are
recorded. This results in a separate financial statement for each such entity, which
reveals a net profit or loss, as well as a return on any assets used by the entity.


qualified investments (Canada)

Qualified investments is the term used for investments that can be held in an RSP. These investments generally include:
Canadian dollar savings accounts, guaranteed investment certificates, term deposits
shares of Canadian and foreign companies listed on a prescribed stock exchange
shares of some over-the-counter U.S. and Canadian companies
shares of some small businesses
certain types of bonds and money-market investments such as treasury bills, Canada Savings Bonds, Government of Canada bonds, provincial government bonds, Crown corporation bonds, bonds issued by Canadian corporations listed on a prescribed stock exchange, and certain strip bonds
certain types of mortgages, including your own
certain covered call options, warrants and rights
certain mutual funds


Regulation M

Fed regulation currently requiring member banks to hold reserves against their net borrowings
from their foreign branches over a 28-day averaging period. Reg M has also required member banks to hold
reserves against Eurodollars lent by their foreign branches to domestic corporations for domestic purposes.


Retention rate

The percentage of present earnings held back or retained by a corporation, or one minus the
dividend payout rate. Also called the retention ratio.


Secondary Market

In investment terminology, the market in which securities are traded after they have been issued by corporations. When a company sells a new issue of securities, the transaction is considered a "primary market transaction".


Set of contracts perspective

View of corporation as a set of contracting relationships, among individuals
who have conflicting objectives, such as shareholders or managers. The corporation is a legal contrivance that
serves as the nexus for the contracting relationships.


Share

The minimum unit of ownership in a corporation.


Share repurchase

Program by which a corporation buys back its own shares in the open market. It is usually
done when shares are undervalued. Since it reduces the number of shares outstanding and thus increases
earnings per share, it tends to elevate the market value of the remaining shares held by stockholders.


Shareholder

Owner of one or more shares of stock in a corporation.


Shareholder's Equity

Represents the total assets of a corporation less liabilities.


Shareholders' Equity

The residual interest or owners' claims on the assets of a corporation
that remain after deducting its liabilities.


Shares

Certificates or book entries representing ownership in a corporation or similar entity


Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB)

Interpretations and practices followed by the staff of the Office of the Chief Accountant and the Division of corporation Finance in administering the disclosure
requirements of the federal securities laws.


Stock

Ownership of a corporation which is represented by shares which represent a piece of the corporation's
assets and earnings.


STOCK

Certificates that signify ownership in a corporation. A share of stock represents a claim on a portion of the company’s assets.


Stock

Units of ownership, also called shares, in a public corporation. Owners of such units, called shareholders, share in the earnings of the company through dividends. The price of a stock is determined by supply and demand in the stock market.


Stock certificate

A document that identifies a stockholder’s ownership share in a corporation.


Stock option

An option in which the underlying is the common stock of a corporation.


Stockholder

A person or entity that owns shares in a corporation.


Stockholder equity

Balance sheet item that includes the book value of ownership in the corporation. It
includes capital stock, paid in surplus, and retained earnings.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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