What you buy and sell in stock market is “Shares”
When establishing a corporation, owners may choose to issue common stock or preferred shares to investors. Companies issue equity shares to investors in return for capital, which is used to grow and operate the firm.
Unlike debt capital, obtained through a loan or bond issue, equity has no legal mandate to be repaid to investors, and shares, while they may pay dividends as a distribution of profits, do not pay interest. Nearly all companies, from small partnerships or LLCs to multinational corporations, issue shares of some kind.
Shares of privately-held companies or partnerships are owned by the founders or partners. As small companies grow, shares are sold to outside investors in the primary market. These may include friends or family, and then angel or venture (VC) investors. If the company continues to grow, it may seek to raise additional equity capital by selling shares to the public on the secondary market via an initial public offering (IPO). After an IPO, a company’s shares are said to be publicly traded and become listed on a stock exchange.
Most companies issue common shares. These provide shareholders with a residual claim on the company and its profits, providing potential investment growth through both capital gains and dividends. Common shares also come with voting rights, giving shareholders more control over the business. These rights allow shareholders of record in a company to vote on certain corporate actions, elect members to the board of directors, and approve issuing new securities or payment of dividends. In addition, certain common stock comes with pre-emptive rights, ensuring that shareholders may buy new shares and retain their percentage of ownership when the corporation issues new stock.
In comparison, preferred shares typically do not offer much market appreciation in value or voting rights in the corporation. However, this type of stock typically has set payment criteria, a dividend that is paid out regularly, making the stock less risky than common stock. Because preferred stock takes priority over common stock if the business files for bankruptcy and is forced to repay its lenders, preferred shareholders receive payment before common shareholders but after bondholders. Because preferred shareholders have priority in repayment upon bankruptcy, they are less risky than common shares.
Physical paper stock certificates have been replaced with electronic recording of stock shares. The issue and distribution of shares in public and private markets is overseen by the Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
What are the shares?
In simple words, a share indicates a unit of ownership of the particular company. If you are a shareholder of a company, it implies that you as an investor, hold a percentage of ownership of the issuing company. As a shareholder you stand to benefit in the event of the company’s profits, and also bear the disadvantages of the company’s losses.
Shares represent equity ownership in a corporation or financial asset, owned by investors who exchange capital in return for these units. Most companies have shares, but only the shares of publicly-traded companies are found on stock exchanges.
What are the types of shares?
These are also known as ordinary shares, and it comprises the bulk of the shares being issued by a particular company. Equity shares are transferable and traded actively by investors in stock markets. As an equity shareholder, you are not only entitled to voting rights on company issues, but also have the right to receive dividends. However, the dividends – issued from the profits of the company – are not fixed. You must also note that equity shareholders are subject to the maximum risk – owing to market volatility and other factors affecting stock markets – as per their amount of investment.
The types of shares in this category can be classified on the basis of:
- Share Capital: Equity financing or share capital is the amount raised by a particular company by issuing shares. A company can increase its share capital by additional Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Here is a look at the classification of equity shares on the basis of share capital:
- Authorised share capital: Every company, in its Memorandum of Associations, requires to prescribe the maximum amount of capital that can be raised by issuing equity shares. The limit, however, can be increased by paying additional fees and after completion of certain legal procedures.
- Issued share capital: This implies the specified portion of the company’s capital, which has been offered to investors through issuance of equity shares. For example, if the nominal value of one stock is Rs 200 and the company issues 20,000 equity shares, the issued share capital will be Rs 40 lakh.
- Subscribed Share Capital: The portion of the issued capital, which has been subscribed by investors is known as subscribed share capital.
- Paid-Up Capital: The amount of money paid by investors for holding the company’s stocks is known as paid-up capital. As investors pay the entire amount at once, subscribed and paid-up capital refer to the same amount.
- Bonus Shares: Bonus share definition implies those additional stocks which are issued to existing shareholders free-of-cost, or as a bonus.
- Rights Shares: Right shares meaning is that a company can provide new shares to its existing shareholders – at a particular price and within a specific time-period – before being offered for trading in stock markets.
- Sweat Equity Shares: If as an employee of the company, you have made a significant contribution, the company can reward you by issuing sweat equity shares.
- Voting And Non-Voting Shares: Although the majority of shares carry voting rights, the company can make an exception and issue differential or zero voting rights to shareholders.
- Dividend Shares: A company can choose to pay dividends in the form of issuing new shares, on a pro-rata basis.
- Growth Shares: These types of shares are associated with companies that have extraordinary growth rates. While such companies might not provide dividends, the value of their stocks increase rapidly, thereby providing capital gains to investors.
- Value Shares: These types of shares are traded in stock markets at prices lower than their intrinsic value. Investors can expect the prices to appreciate over a period of time, thus providing them with a better share price.
These are among the next types of shares issued by a company. Preferential shareholders receive preference in receiving profits of a company as compared to ordinary shareholders. Also, in the event of liquidation of a particular company, the preferential shareholders are paid off before ordinary shareholders.
Different types of shares in this category:
- Cumulative And Non-Cumulative Preference Shares Meaning: In the case of cumulative preference shares, if a particular company doesn’t declare an annual dividend, the benefit is carried forward to the next financial year. Non-cumulative preference shares don’t provide for receiving outstanding dividends benefits.
- Participating/Non-Participating Preference Share Definition: Participating preference shares allow shareholders to receive surplus profits, after payment of dividends by the company. This is over and above the receipt of dividends. Non-participating preference shares carry no such benefits, apart from the regular receipt of dividends.
- Convertible/Non-Convertible Preference Shares Meaning: Convertible preference shares can be converted into equity shares, after meeting the requisite stipulations by the company’s Article of Association (AoA), while non-convertible preference shares carry no such benefits.
- Redeemable/Irredeemable Preference Share Definition: A company can repurchase or claim redeemable preference share at a fixed price and time. These types of shares are sans any maturity date. Irredeemable preference shares, on the other hand, have no such conditions.