Common stock

Definition:

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. Units of ownership of a public corporation with junior status to the claims of secured/unsecured creditors, bondholders and preferred shareholders in the event of liquidation.

Investing Essentials


Copyright © 2011 Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of Finance, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

Term of the Day

Bankruptcy

Inability to pay debts. In bankruptcy of a publicly owned entity, the ownership of the firm's assets is transferred from the stockholders to the bondholders.

Subscribe to the Term of the Day via email Get the Term of the Day in your inbox!


Create your free portfolio