Financial Terms
Preferred shares

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Definition of Preferred shares

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Preferred shares

preferred shares give investors a fixed dividend from the company's earnings. And more
importantly: preferred shareholders get paid before common shareholders. See: preferred stock.

Preferred Shares

Are equity instruments that take no security against assets, have flexible terms of repayment and pay fixed or floating dividends.

Related Terms:

Convertible Debenture

Are debt instruments that are convertible into common or preferred shares, take secondary or no security against assets, have flexible terms of repayment and charge fixed or floating interest rates.


Securities (generally bonds or preferred shares) that are exchangeable at the option of the holder for common shares of the issuing firm.

income funds

Mutual funds that seek regular income. This type of fund invests primarily in government, corporate and other types of bonds, debt securities, and other income producing securities and in certain circumstances can also hold common and preferred shares.

Net Worth

The difference between the total assets and total liabilities of a company. Note: The value of the preferred shares is deducted from the net worth because the preferred's are usually redeemed before any value is paid to the common shareholders.

Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)

A weighted average of the component costs of debt, preferred shares, and common equity. Also called the composite cost of capital.

Adjustable rate preferred stock (ARPS)

Publicly traded issues that may be collateralized by mortgages and MBSs.

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American shares

Securities certificates issued in the U.S. by a transfer agent acting on behalf of the foreign
issuer. The certificates represent claims to foreign equities.

Auction rate preferred stock (ARPS)

Floating rate preferred stock, the dividend on which is adjusted every
seven weeks through a Dutch auction.

Authorized shares

Number of shares authorized for issuance by a firm's corporate charter.

Authorized shares

The number of shares of stock that the company is legally authorized to sell.

Common Shares

Are equity instruments that take no security against assets, have no fixed terms of repayment and pay no fixed dividends.

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 preferred stock

preferred stock that can be converted into common stock at the option of the holder.

Cost of Preferred Stock

The rate of return required by the investors in the preferred stock of
a company. A component of the cost of capital.

Cumulative preferred stock

preferred stock whose dividends accrue, should the issuer not make timely
dividend payments. Related: non-cumulative preferred stock.

Floating-rate preferred

preferred stock paying dividends that vary with short-term interest rates.

Fully diluted earnings per shares

Earnings per share expressed as if all outstanding convertible securities
and warrants have been exercised.

Issued shares

The number of shares that the company has sold to the public.

issued shares

shares that have been issued by the company.

Management/closely held shares

Percentage of shares held by persons closely related to a company, as
defined by the Securities and exchange commission. Part of these percentages often is included in
Institutional Holdings -- making the combined total of these percentages over 100. There is overlap as
institutions sometimes acquire enough stock to be considered by the SEC to be closely allied to the company.

Market segmentation theory or preferred habitat theory

A biased expectations theory that asserts that the
shape of the yield curve is determined by the supply of and demand for securities within each maturity sector.

Monthly income preferred security (MIP)

preferred stock issued by a subsidiary located in a tax haven.
The subsidiary relends the money to the parent.

Non-cumulative preferred stock

preferred stock whose holders must forgo dividend payments when the
company misses a dividend payment.
Related: Cumulative preferred stock

Outstanding shares

shares that are currently owned by investors.

Outstanding shares

The number of shares that are in the hands of the public. The difference between issued shares and outstanding shares is the shares held as treasury stock.

outstanding shares

shares that have been issued by the company and are held by investors.

Performance shares

shares of stock given to managers on the basis of performance as measured by earnings
per share and similar criteria. A control device used by shareholders to tie management to the self-interest of

Preferred Beneficiary

Used in older contracts to confer the same rights as an irrevocable beneficiary. Applied to family members.

Preferred equity redemption stock (PERC)

preferred stock that converts automatically into equity at a
stated date. A limit is placed on the value of the shares the investor receives.

Preferred habitat theory

A biased expectations theory that believes the term structure reflects the
expectation of the future path of interest rates as well as risk premium. However, the theory rejects the
assertion that the risk premium must rise uniformly with maturity. Instead, to the extent that the demand for
and supply of funds does not match for a given maturity range, some participants will shift to maturities
showing the opposite imbalances. As long as such investors are compensated by an appropriate risk premium
whose magnitude will reflect the extent of aversion to either price or reinvestment risk.

Preferred Rates

As non-smoking rates caused a major reduction in the cost of life insurance in the early 1980's, the emergence of preferred non-smoker rates in 1998 has caused another noteworthy reduction in rates. A growing number of insurance companies are offering better rates which go beyond simply looking at gender or smoking habits. Other health related factors such as physical build, lifestyle, avocation and personal and family health history indicating longer life expectancy can add up to significant cost savings to new life insurance applicants. Make certain to ask about these new preferred rates.

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.

Preferred Stock

A type of equity security where holders have a claim on the assets
and earnings of a company after the debt providers but before the
holders of common stock. preferred stock generally pays a fixed
or floating rate dividend each year.

Preferred stock

A type of stock that usually pays a fixed dividend prior to any distributions
to the holders of common stock. In the event of liquidation, it must be paid
off before common stock. It can, but rarely does, have voting rights.

preferred stock

Stock that takes priority over common stock in regard to dividends.

Preferred stock agreement

A contract for preferred stock.

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.

Redeemable Preferred Stock

A preferred stock issue that must be redeemed by the issuing enterprise or is redeemable at the option of the investor. Considered a debt security for accountingpurposes.


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

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.

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.

Cash flow per common share

Cash flow from operations minus preferred stock dividends, divided by the
number of common shares outstanding.

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.


The net worth of a company. This represents the ownership interest of the shareholders (common and preferred) of a company. For this reason, shares or stocks are often known as equities.

Exchange offer

An offer by the firm to give one security, such as a bond or preferred stock, in exchange for
another security, such as shares of common stock.







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