The Different Types of Shares Offered by Companies

As companies grow, they are often no longer funded by just their founders, but instead, shareholders. A shareholder is defined as an individual or institution who owns more than one share of the capital of a private or public corporation. Shareholders are in effect investors in the company but considered members. These shareholders gain things like durable dividends from businesses, therefore they are vital towards the growth of a business. We shall explore the different types of shares that are available, some more common than others.

Ordinary Shares

Ordinary Shares receive a dividend and carry voting rights which entitle the holder to one vote per share. Often companies will create more than one class of this type of share. For example, have “A” Ordinary Shares” and “B” Ordinary Shares. The advantage of this is that it gives a company the flexibility to pay differing dividends to different shareholders. Investors can use sites like https://kryptoszene.de/aktien-kaufen/lufthansa-aktie/ to find new stocks and determine if they’re worth an investment.

Deferred Ordinary Shares

In the case of a deferred ordinary share, the company will only pay a dividend to these classes of shareholders once all the other shares have received minimum dividends. In the event of liquidation, they will be last to receive anything.

Non-Voting Ordinary Shares

Voting rights on shares can be restricted. It is also possible that non-voting ordinary shares carry no voting rights at all. This may exclude the shareholder from attending the AGM (Annual General Meeting).

Redeemable Shares

With redeemable shares, the company has the option of buying the shares back in the future. There can also be options for the shareholder to sell the shares back to the company rather than on the open market, although this is not common. More often than not the redeemable price of the share will be the same as the issue price but can be set differently.

Preference Shares

As their name suggests, preference shares entitle holders to a fixed dividend payment that takes priority over that which is paid to an ordinary shareholder. The advantage of this is in cases of liquidation when an order of creditors is determined. The preference shareholder will be ahead of the ordinary shareholder in this situation in terms of receiving any arrears of dividends and their share capital back.

Cumulative Preference Shares

With the cumulative element of this type of share, any dividends that cannot be paid to cumulative preference shareholders in lean times, can be made up for at a future date when the company is experiencing higher profitability.

Redeemable Preference Shares

This type of share combines the features of redeemable and preference shares. Those holding them receive the benefits of preferential rights to dividends whether the shares are cumulative or non-cumulative. The company can redeem the shares at pre-agreed terms in the future if they wish.

Many companies will start off, for simplicity sake, by just offering one type of share, which will be the ordinary share. It provides the shareholder with equal voting rights and a dividend. Where companies do offer different types of shares, there is nothing to stop a shareholder holding different classes of share at the same time. This allows them to benefit from the different rights on offer, with respect to voting and entitlement to future dividends.

So, this gives an idea on the main types of shares that you are likely to come across with a company, whether you are in education wanting to learn about the different types or a private individual or business looking to invest. In terms of investment, there are several options open to you in terms of knowing which companies to invest in. Financial institutions, advisers, and share dealers, know the market well and there are various websites which specialise in financial advice. The Financial Times newspaper is an excellent source for finding out about what is going on with companies and the economy, apart from providing lists of the current share prices and their movements.

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