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Definition of Share

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The minimum unit of ownership in a corporation.

Related Terms:

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.

authorized share capital

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

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.

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.

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

Book value per share

The ratio of stockholder equity to the average number of common shares. Book value
per share should not be thought of as an indicator of economic worth, since it reflects accounting valuation
(and not necessarily market valuation).

Share Image 2

Book Value per Share

The book value of a company divided by the number of shares

Cash flow per common share

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

Common Shares

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

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.

Dividends per share

Amount of cash paid to shareholders expressed as dollars per share.

Dividends per share

Dividends paid for the past 12 months divided by the number of common shares
outstanding, as reported by a company. The number of shares often is determined by a weighted average of
shares outstanding over the reporting term.

Earnings per Share

A measure of the earnings generated by a company on a per
share basis. It is calculated by dividing income available for
distribution to shareholders by the number of common shares

Earnings per share (EPS)

EPS, as it is called, is a company's profit divided by its number of outstanding
shares. If a company earned $2 million in one year had 2 million shares of stock outstanding, its EPS would
be $1 per share. The company often uses a weighted average of shares outstanding over the reporting term.

earnings per share (EPS)

See basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share.

Share Image 3

Earnings per share of common stock

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

Fully diluted earnings per shares

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

Issued share capital

Total amount of shares that are in issue. Related: outstanding shares.

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.

Outstanding share capital

Issued share capital less the par value of shares that are held in the company's treasury.

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

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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.

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.


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

Shareholder's Equity

Represents the total assets of a corporation less liabilities.

Shareholder value

Increasing the value of the business to its shareholders, achieved through a combination of
dividend and capital growth in the value of the shares.

Shareholders' equity

This is a company's total assets minus total liabilities. A company's net worth is the
same thing.

Shareholders' equity

The total amount of contributed capital and retained earnings; synonymous with stockholders' equity.

Shareholders' Equity

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

Shareholders’ funds

The capital invested in a business by the shareholders, including retained profits.

Shareholders' letter

A section of an annual report where one can find jargon-free discussions by
management of successful and failed strategies which provides guidance for the probing of the rest of the


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

12b-1 funds

Mutual funds that do not charge an upfront or back-end commission, but instead take out up to
1.25% of average daily fund assets each year to cover the costs of selling and marketing shares, an
arrangement allowed by the SEC's Rule 12b-I (passed in 1980).

Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income

Cumulative gains or losses reported in shareholders'
equity that arise from changes in the fair value of available-for-sale securities, from the
effects of changes in foreign-currency exchange rates on consolidated foreign-currency financial
statements, certain gains and losses on financial derivatives, and from adjustments for underfunded
pension plans.

activity based costing (ABC)

A relatively new method advocated for the
allocation of indirect costs. The key idea is to classify indirect costs,
many of which are fixed in amount for a period of time, into separate
activities and to develop a measure for each activity called a cost driver.
The products or other functions in the business that benefit from the
activity are allocated shares of the total indirect cost for the period based
on their usage as measured by the cost driver.

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.

Annual fund operating expenses

For investment companies, the management fee and "other expenses,"
including the expenses for maintaining shareholder records, providing shareholders with financial statements,
and providing custodial and accounting services. For 12b-1 funds, selling and marketing costs are included.

Annual report

Yearly record of a publicly held company's financial condition. It includes a description of the
firm's operations, its balance sheet and income statement. SEC rules require that it be distributed to all
shareholders. A more detailed version is called a 10-K.

Annual report

A report issued to a company’s shareholders, creditors, and regulatory
organizations at the end of its fiscal year. It typically contains at least an income
statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows, and accompanying footnotes. It
may also contain management comments, an audit report, and other supporting
schedules that may be required by regulatory organizations.

Antidilution Provisions

A clause in a shareholders agreement preventing a company from issuing additional shares, without allowing the current shareholders the opportunity to participate in the offering to avoid dilution of their percentage ownership.

Antidilutive effect

Result of a transaction that increases earnings per common share (e.g. by decreasing the
number of shares outstanding).

Appraisal rights

A right of shareholders in a merger to demand the payment of a fair price for their shares, as
determined independently.


This is the quoted ask, or the lowest price an investor will accept to sell a stock. Practically speaking, this
is the quoted offer at which an investor can buy shares of stock; also called the offer price.

asset mix

The weighting of assets in an investment portfolio among different asset classes (e.g. shares, bonds, property, cash, overseas investments.

Attribute bias

The tendency of stocks preferred by the dividend discount model to share certain equity
attributes such as low price-earnings ratios, high dividend yield, high book-value ratio or membership in a
particular industry sector.

Back office

Brokerage house clerical operations that support, but do not include, the trading of stocks and
other securities. Includes all written confirmation and settlement of trades, record keeping and regulatory
Back-end loan fund
A mutual fund that charges investors a fee to sell (redeem) shares, often ranging from
4% to 6%. Some back-end load funds impose a full commission if the shares are redeemed within a
designated time, such as one year. The commission decreases the longer the investor holds the shares. The
formal name for the back-end load is the contingent deferred sales charge, or CDSC.

balance sheet

A term often used instead of the more formal and correct
term—statement of financial condition. This financial statement summarizes
the assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity sources of a business at a
given moment in time. It is prepared at the end of each profit period and
whenever else it is needed. It is one of the three primary financial statements
of a business, the other two being the income statement and the
statement of cash flows. The values reported in the balance sheet are the
amounts used to determine book value per share of capital stock. Also,
the book value of an asset is the amount reported in a business’s most
recent balance sheet.

Best-efforts sale

A method of securities distribution/ underwriting in which the securities firm agrees to sell
as much of the offering as possible and return any unsold shares to the issuer. As opposed to a guaranteed or
fixed price sale, where the underwriter agrees to sell a specific number of shares (with the securities firm
holding any unsold shares in its own account if necessary).

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.

Block trade

A large trading order, defined on the New York Stock Exchange as an order that consists of
10,000 shares of a given stock or a total market value of $200,000 or more.

Block voting

A group of shareholders banding together to vote their shares in a single block.


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)

build mission

a mission of increasing market share, even at
the expense of short-term profits and cash flow; typically
pursued by a business unit that has a small market share
in a high-growth industry; appropriate for products that
are in the early stages of the product life cycle

Buy on margin

A transaction in which an investor borrows to buy additional shares, using the shares
themselves as collateral.

Buy/Sell Agreement

This is an agreement entered into by the owners of a business to define the conditions under which the interests of each shareholder will be bought and sold. The agreement sets the value of each shareholders interest and stipulates what happens when one of the owners wishes to dispose of his/her interest during his/her lifetime as well as disposal of interest upon death or disability. Life insurance, critical illness coverage and disability insurance are major considerations to help fund this type of agreement.


Purchase of a controlling interest (or percent of shares) of a company's stock. A leveraged buy-out is
done with borrowed money.

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.


The shareholders’ investment in the business; the difference between the assets and liabilities
of a business.


What a company collected when it sold stock for more than the par value per share.

Capital market

The market in which investors buy and sell shares of companies, normally associated with a Stock Exchange.

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 cow

A company that pays out all earnings per share to stockholders as dividends. Or, a company or
division of a company that generates a steady and significant amount of free cash flow.

Cash dividend

A dividend paid in cash to a company's shareholders. The amount is normally based on
profitability and is taxable as income. A cash distribution may include capital gains and return of capital in
addition to the dividend.

cash dividend

Payment of cash by the firm to its shareholders.

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.


In medical insurance, the insured person and the insurer sometimes share the cost of services under a policy in a specified ratio, for example 80% by the insurer and 20% by the insured. By this means, the cost of coverage to the insured is reduced.


The fee paid to a broker to execute a trade, based on number of shares, bonds, options, and/or
their dollar value. In 1975, deregulation led to the creation of discount brokers, who charge lower
commissions than full service brokers. Full service brokers offer advice and usually have a full staff of
analysts who follow specific industries. Discount brokers simply execute a client's order -- and usually do not
offer an opinion on a stock. Also known as a round-turn.

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/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.

Company Acquisitions

Assets acquired to create money. May include plant, machinery and equipment, shares of another company etc.


Intra- or intermarket rivalry between businesses trying to obtain a larger piece of the same
market share.

Contribution Rate

The percentage tax charged by a state to an employer to
cover its share of the state unemployment insurance fund.

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 bond

Bond that the holder may exchange for a specified number of shares.

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.

Convertible price

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


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


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.

Cost company arrangement

Arrangement whereby the shareholders of a project receive output free of
charge but agree to pay all operating and financing charges of the project.

Covered call

A short call option position in which the writer owns the number of shares of the underlying
stock represented by the option contracts. Covered calls generally limit the risk the writer takes because the
stock does not have to be bought at the market price, if the holder of that option decides to exercise it.

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.

cumulative voting

Voting system in which all the votes one shareholder is allowed to cast can be cast for one candidate for the board of directors.

Currency risk sharing

An agreement by the parties to a transaction to share the currency risk associated with
the transaction. The arrangement involves a customized hedge contract embedded in the underlying

Debt/equity ratio

Indicator of financial leverage. Compares assets provided by creditors to assets provided
by shareholders. Determined by dividing long-term debt by common stockholder equity.

Dedicated capital

Total par value (number of shares issued, multiplied by the par value of each share). Also
called dedicated value.

Deferred equity

A common term for convertible bonds because of their equity component and the
expectation that the bond will ultimately be converted into shares of common stock.

Detachable warrant

A warrant entitles the holder to buy a given number of shares of stock at a stipulated
price. A detachable warrant is one that may be sold separately from the package it may have originally been
issued with (usually a bond).







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