Financial Terms
Preferred stock

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Definition of Preferred stock

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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.

Related Terms:

Adjustable rate preferred stock (ARPS)

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

Auction rate preferred stock (ARPS)

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

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.

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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.

Non-cumulative preferred stock

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

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.

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.

Asset Coverage

Extent to which a company's net assets cover a particular debt obligation, class of preferred stock, or equity position.

Balanced mutual fund

This is a fund that buys common stock, preferred stock and bonds. The same as a
balanced fund.

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Big Board

A nickname for the New York stock Exchange. Also known as The Exchange. More than 2,000
common and preferred stocks are traded. Founded in 1792, the NYSE is the oldest exchange in the United
States, and the largest. It is located on Wall Street in New York City.

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 Structure

The combination of debt, preferred stock, and common stock used
by a company to provide capital for the purchase of its fixed

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 per common share

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

Common Stock

A financial security that represents an ownership claim on the
assets and earnings of a company. This claim is valid after the
claims of the debt providers and preferred stockholders have been

Common stock market

The market for trading equities, not including preferred 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.


Provisions in a bond indenture or preferred stock agreement that require the bond or preferred
stock issuer to take certain specified actions (affirmative covenants) or to refrain from taking certain specified
actions (negative covenants).

Dividend rate

The fixed or floating rate paid on preferred stock based on par value.

Drop lock

An arrangement whereby the interest rate on a floating rate note or preferred stock becomes fixed
if it falls to a specified level.

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.

Fixed-income instruments

Assets that pay a fixed-dollar amount, such as bonds and preferred stock.

Fixed-income market

The market for trading bonds and preferred stock.

Floating-rate preferred

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

Long-term debt/capitalization

Indicator of financial leverage. Shows long-term debt as a proportion of the
capital available. Determined by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt, preferred stock and
common stockholder equity.

Monthly income preferred security (MIP)

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

net worth

Book value of common stockholders’ equity plus preferred stock.

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

Also known as the Big Board or The Exhange. More than 2,00 common
and preferred stocks are traded. The exchange is the older in the United States, founded in 1792, and the
largest. It is lcoated on Wall Street in New York City

Preference stock

A security that ranks junior to preferred stock but senior to common stock in the right to
receive payments from the firm; essentially junior preferred stock.

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.

The Exchange

A nickname for the New York stock exchange. Also known as the Big Board. More than
2,000 common and preferred stocks are traded. The exchange is the oldest in the United States, founded in
1792, and the largest. It is located on Wall Street in New York City.

Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)

The weighted average of the costs of the capital components
(debt, preferred stock, and common stock)

Acquisition of stock

A merger or consolidation in which an acquirer purchases the acquiree's stock.

American Stock Exchange (AMEX)

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

Beta equation (Stocks)

The beta of a stock is determined as follows:
[(n) (sum of (xy)) ]-[(sum of x) (sum of y)]
[(n) (sum of (xx)) ]-[(sum of x) (sum of x)]
where: n = # of observations (24-60 months)
x = rate of return for the S&P 500 Index
y = rate of return for the stock


The theoretical amount per share that each stockholder would receive if a company’s assets were sold on the balance sheet’s date. Book value equals:
(stockholders’ equity) / (Common stock shares outstanding)

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.

Capital Stock

The total amount of plant, equipment, and other physical capital.

Common stock

These are securities that represent equity ownership in a company. Common shares let an
investor vote on such matters as the election of directors. They also give the holder a share in a company's
profits via dividend payments or the capital appreciation of the security.

Common stock

Shares of ownership sold to the public.

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.

Common stock equivalent

A convertible security that is traded like an equity issue because the optioned
common stock is trading high.

Common stock/other equity

Value of outstanding common shares at par, plus accumulated retained
earnings. Also called shareholders' equity.

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.

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.

Consigned stocks

Inventories owned by a company, but located on the premises
of its agents or distributors.

Cost of Common Stock

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

Departmental stocks

The informal and frequently unauthorized retention of excess inventory on the shop floor, which is used as buffer safety stock.

Direct stock-purchase programs

The purchase by investors of securities directly from the issuer.

Dividend yield (Stocks)

Indicated yield represents annual dividends divided by current stock price.

Earnings per share of common stock

How much profit a company made on each share of common stock this year.

Employee stock fund

A firm-sponsored program that enables employees to purchase shares of the firm's
common stock on a preferential basis.

Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)

A company contributes to a trust fund that buys stock on behalf of

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

a profit-sharing compensation program in which investments are made in
the securities of the employer

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

A fund containing company stock and owned by employees, paid for by ongoing contributions by the employer.

Exchange of stock

Acquisition of another company by purchase of its stock in exchange for cash or shares.

Floor stocks

Low-cost, high-usage inventory items stored near the shop floor,
which the production staff can use at will without a requisition and which are
expensed at the time of receipt, rather than being accounted for through a formal
inventory database.

Growth stock

Common stock of a company that has an opportunity to invest money and earn more than the
opportunity cost of capital.

Heavenly Parachute Stock Option

A nonqualified stock option that allows a deceased option holder’s estate up to three years in which to exercise his or her

Incentive Stock Option

An option to purchase company stock that is not taxable
to the employee at the time it is granted nor at the time when the employee
eventually exercises the option to buy stock.

Income stock

Common stock with a high dividend yield and few profitable investment opportunities.

Letter stock

Privately placed common stock, so-called because the SEC requires a letter from the purchaser
stating that the stock is not intended for resale.

Listed stocks

stocks that are traded on an exchange.

Listed stocks

stocks that are traded on an exchange.


A production scheduling system under which products are completed
before the receipt of customer orders, which are filled from stock.

Margin account (Stocks)

A leverageable account in which stocks can be purchased for a combination of
cash and a loan. The loan in the margin account is collateralized by the stock and, if the value of the stock
drops sufficiently, the owner will be asked to either put in more cash, or sell a portion of the stock. Margin
rules are federally regulated, but margin requirements and interest may vary among broker/dealers.

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.

No par value stock

stock issued by the company that does not have an arbitrary value (par value) assigned to it.

Nonqualified Stock Option

A stock option not given any favorable tax treatment
under the Internal Revenue Code. The option is taxed when it is exercised,
based on the difference between the option price and the fair market
value of the stock on that day.

Outbound stock point

A designated inventory location on the shop floor between
operations where inventory is stockpiled until needed by the next operation.

Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX)

A securities exchange where American and European foreign
currency options on spot exchange rates are traded.

Preferred Beneficiary

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

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 Shares

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


The percentage return or profit that management made on each dollar stockholders invested in a company. Here’s how you figure it:
(Net income) / (stockholders’ equity)


A ratio that shows which group—creditors or stockholders—has the biggest stake in or the most control of a company:
(Total liabilities) / (stockholders’ equity)

Repurchase of stock

Device to pay cash to firm's shareholders that provides more preferable tax treatment
for shareholders than dividends. Treasury stock is the name given to previously issued stock that has been
repurchased by the firm. A repurchase is achieved through either a dutch auction, open market, or tender offer.

Reverse stock split

A proportionate decrease in the number of shares, but not the value of shares of stock
held by shareholders. Shareholders maintain the same percentage of equity as before the split. For example, a
1-for-3 split would result in stockholders owning 1 share for every 3 shares owned before the split. After the
reverse split, the firm's stock price is, in this example, worth three times the pre-reverse split price. A firm
generally institutes a reverse split to boost its stock's market price and attract investors.

safety stock

a buffer level of inventory kept on hand by a company in the event of fluctuating usage or unusual delays in lead time

Safety stock

Extra inventory kept on hand to guard against requirements

Stated value stock

stock issued by the company that does not have a par value, but does have a stated value. For accounting purposes, stated value is functionally equivalent to par value.


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


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


See inventory.


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.


Any item held in inventory.

stock appreciation right

a right to receive cash, stock, or a combination of cash and stock based on the difference between a specified dollar amount per share of stock and the quoted market price per share at some future date

Stock certificate

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

Stock dividend

Payment of a corporate dividend in the form of stock rather than cash. The stock dividend
may be additional shares in the company, or it may be shares in a subsidiary being spun off to shareholders.
stock dividends are often used to conserve cash needed to operate the business. Unlike a cash dividend, stock
dividends are not taxed until sold.

stock dividend

Distribution of additional shares to a firm’s stockholders.







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