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Definition of Lambda

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The percentage change in the price of an option relative to a 1%
change in the price of the underlying security. Also known as Elasticity.


The ratio of a change in the option price to a small change in the option volatility. It is the partial
derivative of the option price with respect to the option volatility.

Related Terms:

Elasticity - See Lambda


Collectively, "greeks" refer to the financial measures delta, gamma,
lambda, rho, theta, and vega, which are sensitivity measures used in
evaluating derivatives.

"Soft" Capital Rationing

Capital rationing that under certain circumstances can be violated or even viewed
as made up of targets rather than absolute constraints.

Abandonment option

The option of terminating an investment earlier than originally planned.

Acceleration Clause

Clause causing repayment of a debt, if specified events occur or are not met.

Accelerationist Hypothesis

Belief that an effort to keep unemployment below its natural rate results in an accelerating inflation.

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Accounting change

An alteration in the accounting methodology or estimates used in
the reporting of financial statements, usually requiring discussion in a footnote
attached to the financial statements.

accounts receivable turnover ratio

A ratio computed by dividing annual
sales revenue by the year-end balance of accounts receivable. Technically
speaking, to calculate this ratio the amount of annual credit sales should
be divided by the average accounts receivable balance, but this information
is not readily available from external financial statements. For
reporting internally to managers, this ratio should be refined and finetuned
to be as accurate as possible.

Acid-test ratio

Also called the quick ratio, the ratio of current assets minus inventories, accruals, and prepaid
items to current liabilities.


A ratio that shows how well a company could pay its current debts using only its most liquid or “quick” assets. It’s a more pessimistic—but Also realistic—measure of safety than the current ratio, because it ignores sluggish, hard-toliquidate current assets like inventory and notes receivable. Here’s the formula:
(Cash + Accounts receivable + Marketable securities) / (Current liabilities)

Acid-test Ratio

See quick ratio

acid test ratio (also called the quick ratio)

The sum of cash, accounts receivable, and short-term marketable
investments (if any) is divided by
total current liabilities to compute this ratio. Suppose that the short-term
creditors were to pounce on a business and not agree to roll over the
debts owed to them by the business. In this rather extreme scenario, the
acid test ratio reveals whether its cash and near-cash assets are enough
to pay its short-term current liabilities. This ratio is an extreme test that
is not likely to be imposed on a business unless it is in financial straits.
This ratio is quite relevant when a business is in a liquidation situation
or bankruptcy proceedings.

Adjusted Cash Flow Provided by Continuing Operations

Cash flow provided by operating
activities adjusted to provide a more recurring, sustainable measure. Adjustments to reported cash
provided by operating activities are made to remove such nonrecurring cash items as: the operating
component of discontinued operations, income taxes on items classified as investing or financing activities, income tax benefits from nonqualified employee stock options, the cash effects of purchases and sales of trading securities for nonfinancial firms, capitalized expenditures, and other nonrecurring cash inflows and outflows.

American option

An option that may be exercised at any time up to and including the expiration date.
Related: European option

American option

An option that can be exercised any time until its
expiration date. Contrast with European option.

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American Stock Exchange (AMEX)

The second-largest stock exchange in the United States. It trades
mostly in small-to medium-sized companies.

American-style option

An option contract that can be exercised at any time between the date of purchase and
the expiration date. Most exchange-traded options are American style.

Annual percentage rate (APR)

The periodic rate times the number of periods in a year. For example, a 5%
quarterly return has an APR of 20%.

annual percentage rate (APR)

Interest rate that is annualized using simple interest.

Annual percentage yield (APY)

The effective, or true, annual rate of return. The APY is the rate actually
earned or paid in one year, taking into account the affect of compounding. The APY is calculated by taking
one plus the periodic rate and raising it to the number of periods in a year. For example, a 1% per month rate
has an APY of 12.68% (1.01^12).

Appraisal ratio

The signal-to-noise ratio of an analyst's forecasts. The ratio of alpha to residual standard

Arbitrage-free option-pricing models

Yield curve option-pricing models.

Arm's length price

The price at which a willing buyer and a willing unrelated seller would freely agree to

Articles of incorporation

Legal document establishing a corporation and its structure and purpose.

Asian option

option based on the average price of the asset during the life of the option.

Ask price

A dealer's price to sell a security; Also called the offer price.

Asset activity ratios

ratios that measure how effectively the firm is managing its assets.

Asset-backed security

A security that is collateralized by loans, leases, receivables, or installment contracts
on personal property, not real estate.

Asset/equity ratio

The ratio of total assets to stockholder equity.

asset turnover ratio

A broad-gauge ratio computed by dividing annual
sales revenue by total assets. It is a rough measure of the sales-generating
power of assets. The idea is that assets are used to make sales, and the
sales should lead to profit. The ultimate test is not sales revenue on
assets, but the profit earned on assets as measured by the return on
assets (ROA) ratio.

Available-for-Sale Security

A debt or equity security not classified as a held-to-maturity security or a trading security. Can be classified as a current or noncurrent investment depending on the intended holding period.

Bargain-purchase-price option

Gives the lessee the option to purchase the asset at a price below fair market
value when the lease expires.

Barrier options

Contracts with trigger points that, when crossed, automatically generate buying or selling of
other options. These are very exotic options.

Basic Earnings Power Ratio

percentage of earnings relative to total assets; indication of how
effectively assets are used to generate earnings. It is calculated by
dividing earnings before interest and taxes by the book value of all

Basis price

price expressed in terms of yield to maturity or annual rate of return.

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.

Benefit Ratio Method

The proportion of unemployment benefits paid to a company’s
former employees during the measurement period, divided by the total
payroll during the period. This calculation is used by states to determine the unemployment
contribution rate to charge employers.

Benefit Wage Ratio Method

The proportion of total taxable wages for laid off
employees during the measurement period divided by the total payroll during
the period. This calculation is used by states to determine the unemployment
contribution rate to charge employers.

Bid price

This is the quoted bid, or the highest price an investor is willing to pay to buy a security. Practically
speaking, this is the available price at which an investor can sell shares of stock. Related: Ask , offer.

Bill of exchange

General term for a document demanding payment.

Binomial option pricing model

An option pricing model in which the underlying asset can take on only two
possible, discrete values in the next time period for each value that it can take on in the preceding time period.

Black-Scholes option-pricing model

A model for pricing call options based on arbitrage arguments that uses
the stock price, the exercise price, the risk-free interest rate, the time to expiration, and the standard deviation
of the stock return.

cafeteria plan a “menu” of fringe benefit options that include

cash or nontaxable benefits

Call an option

To exercise a call option.

Call option

An option contract that gives its holder the right (but not the obligation) to purchase a specified
number of shares of the underlying stock at the given strike price, on or before the expiration date of the
Call premium
Premium in price above the par value of a bond or share of preferred stock that must be paid to
holders to redeem the bond or share of preferred stock before its scheduled maturity date.

Call Option

A contract that gives the holder the right to buy an asset for a
specified price on or before a given expiration (maturity) date

call option

Right to buy an asset at a specified exercise price on or before the exercise date.

Call price

The price, specified at issuance, at which the issuer of a bond may retire part of the bond at a
specified call date.

Call price

The price for which a bond can be repaid before maturity under a call provision.

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.

Capital rationing

Placing one or more limits on the amount of new investment undertaken by a firm, either
by using a higher cost of capital, or by setting a maximum on parts of, and/or the entirety of, the capital

capital rationing

a condition that exists when there is an
upper-dollar constraint on the amount of capital available
to commit to capital asset acquisition

capital rationing

Limit set on the amount of funds available for investment.

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.

Cash flow coverage ratio

The number of times that financial obligations (for interest, principal payments,
preferred stock dividends, and rental payments) are covered by earnings before interest, taxes, rental
payments, and depreciation.

Cash flow from operations

A firm's net cash inflow resulting directly from its regular operations
(disregarding extraordinary items such as the sale of fixed assets or transaction costs associated with issuing
securities), calculated as the sum of net income plus non-cash expenses that were deducted in calculating net

Cash Flow–to–Income Ratio (CFI)

Adjusted cash flow provided by continuing operations
divided by adjusted income from continuing operations.


A section on the cash-flow Stockholders’ equity statement that shows how much cash came into a company and how much went out during the normal course of business.

Cash ratio

The proportion of a firm's assets held as cash.

Cash Ratio

ratio of cash and cash equivalents to liabilities; in the case of a bank, the ratio of cash to total deposit liabilities.

Change in Accounting Estimate

A change in accounting that occurs as the result of new information
or as additional experience is acquired—for example, a change in the residual values
or useful lives of fixed assets. A change in accounting estimate is accounted for prospectively,
over the current and future accounting periods affected by the change.

Change in Accounting Estimate

A change in the implementation of an existing accounting
policy. A common example would be extending the useful life or changing the expected residual
value of a fixed asset. Another would be making any necessary adjustments to allowances for
uncollectible accounts, warranty obligations, and reserves for inventory obsolescense.

Change in Accounting Principle

A change from one generally accepted accounting principle to another generally accepted accounting principle—for example, a change from capitalizing expenditures
to expensing them. A change in accounting principle is accounted for in most instances
as a cumulative-effect–type adjustment.

Change in Reporting Entity

A change in the scope of the entities included in a set of, typically, consolidated financial statements.

Changes in Financial Position

Sources of funds internally provided from operations that alter a company's
cash flow position: depreciation, deferred taxes, other sources, and capital expenditures.

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.

Clean price

Bond price excluding accrued interest.

Commodities Exchange Center (CEC)

The location of five New York futures exchanges: Commodity
Exchange, Inc. (COMEX), the New York Mercantile exchange (NYMEX), the New York Cotton Exchange,
the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa exchange (CSC), and the New York futures exchange (NYFE). common size
statement A statement in which all items are expressed as a percentage of a base figure, useful for purposes of
analyzing trends and the changing relationship between financial statement items. For example, all items in
each year's income statement could be presented as a percentage of net sales.

Common stock ratios

ratios that are designed to measure the relative claims of stockholders to earnings
(cash flow per share), and equity (book value per share) of a firm.

Compound option

option on an option.

Concentration account

A single centralized account into which funds collected at regional locations
(lockboxes) are transferred.

concentration banking

System whereby customers make payments to a regional collection center which transfers funds to
a principal bank.

Concentration services

Movement of cash from different lockbox locations into a single concentration
account from which disbursements and investments are made.

Configuration audit

A review of all engineering documentation used as the basis
for a manufactured product to see if the documentation accurately represents
the finished product.

Configuration control

Verifying that a delivered product matches authorizing
engineering documentation. This Also refers to engineering changes made subsequent
to the initial product release.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The CPI, as it is called, measures the prices of consumer goods and services and is a
measure of the pace of U.S. inflation. The U.S.Department of Labor publishes the CPI very month.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

An index calculated by tracking the cost of a typical bundle of consumer goods and services over time. It is commonly used to measure inflation.

contribution margin ratio

the proportion of each revenue dollar remaining after variable costs have been covered;
computed as contribution margin divided by sales

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.

Conversion parity price

Related:Market conversion price

Conversion ratio

The number of shares of common stock that the security holder will receive from
exercising the call option of a convertible security.

Convertible exchangeable preferred stock

Convertible preferred stock that may be exchanged, at the
issuer's option, into convertible bonds that have the same conversion features as the convertible preferred

Convertible price

The contractually specified price per share at which a convertible security can be
converted into shares of common stock.

Convertible security

A security that can be converted into common stock at the option of the security holder,
including convertible bonds and convertible preferred stock.


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.


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.


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

Cost-benefit ratio

The net present value of an investment divided by the investment's initial cost. Also called
the profitability index.

Coverage ratios

ratios used to test the adequacy of cash flows generated through earnings for purposes of
meeting debt and lease obligations, including the interest coverage ratio and the fixed charge coverage ratio.

Covered or hedge option strategies

Strategies that involve a position in an option as well as a position in the
underlying stock, designed so that one position will help offset any unfavorable price movement in the other,
including covered call writing and protective put buying. Related: naked strategies

Credit Rationing

Restriction of loans by lenders so that not all borrowers willing to pay the current interest rate are able to obtain loans.

Cumulative Effect of a Change in Accounting Principle

The change in earnings of previous years
based on the assumption that a newly adopted accounting principle had previously been in use.

Cumulative Effect of Accounting Change

The change in earnings of previous years assuming
that the newly adopted accounting principle had previously been in use.

Currency option

An option to buy or sell a foreign currency.

Current ratio

Indicator of short-term debt paying ability. Determined by dividing current assets by current
liabilities. The higher the ratio, the more liquid the company.

Current ratio

A ratio that shows how many times a company could pay its current debts if it used its current assets to pay them. The formula:
(Current assets) / (Current liabilities)

current ratio

Calculated to assess the short-term solvency, or debt-paying
ability of a business, it equals total current assets divided by total current
liabilities. Some businesses remain solvent with a relatively low current
ratio; others could be in trouble with an apparently good current ratio.
The general rule is that the current ratio should be 2:1 or higher, but
please take this with a grain of salt, because current ratios vary widely
from industry to industry.

Current Ratio

A measure of the ability of a company to use its current assets to
pay its current liabilities. It is calculated by dividing the total current
assets by the total current liabilities.

Current Ratio

Current assets divided by current liabilities. This ratio indicates the extent to which the claims of short-term creditors are covered by assets expected to be converted to cash in the near future.

Customary payout ratios

A range of payout ratios that is typical based on an analysis of comparable firms.

Days' sales in inventory ratio

The average number of days' worth of sales that is held in inventory.

Dealer options

Over-the-counter options, such as those offered by government and mortgage-backed
securities dealers.







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