Preferred Stock


Preferred Stock

A class of ownership in a corporation that has a higher claim on the assets and earnings than common stock. Preferred stock generally has a dividend that must be paid out before dividends to common stockholders and the shares usually do not have voting rights.

The precise details as to the structure of preferred stock is specific to each corporation. However, the best way to think of preferred stock is as a financial instrument that has characteristics of both debt (fixed dividends) and equity (potential appreciation). Also known as "preferred shares".

There are certainly pros and cons when looking at preferred shares. Preferred shareholders have priority over common stockholders on earnings and assets in the event of liquidation and they have a fixed dividend (paid before common stockholders), but investors must weigh these positives against the negatives, including giving up their voting rights and less potential for appreciation.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • preferred stock — see stock Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. preferred stock n …   Law dictionary

  • preferred stock — preferred′ stock′ n. bus stock that has a superior claim to that of common stock with respect to dividends and often to assets in the event of liquidation • Etymology: 1840–50, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • preferred stock — ☆ preferred stock n. stock on which dividends must be paid before those of common stock: it usually also receives preference in the distribution of assets …   English World dictionary

  • Preferred stock — Financial markets Public market Exchange Securities Bond market Fixed income Corporate bond Government bond Municipal bond …   Wikipedia

  • preferred stock — A type of equity or capital representing shares of ownership in a corporation. May or may not receive distributions of corporate income in the form of dividends. Has a higher priority claim to corporate earnings or assets than common stock but… …   Financial and business terms

  • 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… …   Financial and business terms

  • Preferred stock — Prefer Pre*fer , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Preferred}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Preferring}.] [F. pr[ e]f[ e]rer, L. praeferre; prae before + ferre to bear or carry. See 1st {Bear}.] 1. To carry or bring (something) forward, or before one; hence, to bring for …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • preferred stock — An ownership share in a corporation that has preference over *common stock in the distribution of earnings. Preferred status over common stock also often relates to payments arising on a corporation’s liquidation. Preferred *stockholders take on… …   Auditor's dictionary

  • preferred stock — noun stock whose holders are guaranteed priority in the payment of dividends but whose holders have no voting rights • Syn: ↑preferred shares, ↑preference shares • Hypernyms: ↑stock • Hyponyms: ↑cumulative preferred, ↑cumul …   Useful english dictionary

  • preferred stock — A part of the capital stock of a corporation, the peculiar and distinctive characteristic of which is that it is entitled to a priority over other stock in the distribution of profits. Sometimes called guaranteed stock. Corporate stock given a… …   Ballentine's law dictionary


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