Course Outline
Join PRO

What is preferred stock?

Author:
Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of Preferred Stock

Preferred stock is a type of capital stock issued by some corporations in addition to its common stock. Preferred stock is also known as preference stock. The word “preferred” refers to the dividends paid by the corporation and to the liquidation of the corporation (if that were to occur). In exchange for this preferential treatment, the preferred stockholders (shareholders) generally will never receive more than the preferred stock’s stated fixed dividend.

The preferential treatment for dividends means that preferred stockholders will receive their dividends before the common stockholders are to receive any dividend.

Preferred stock is relatively rare since corporations will use debt in addition to its common stock.

Example of Preferred Stock

Assume that a stockholder owns 100 shares of a corporation’s 8% $100 par preferred stock. Each year, this stockholder must receive dividends on the preferred stock of $800 (8% X $100 = $8 per share X 100 shares) before the common stockholders are allowed to receive any cash dividends for the year. Unless the preferred stock has a participating feature, this preferred stockholder will never receive more than $8 per share no matter how successful the corporation becomes.

The preferred stock could have any of the following features: cumulative, convertible, callable, participating, and more.

Since the dividend on preferred stock is usually a fixed amount forever, once the preferred stock is issued its market value is likely to change in the opposite direction of inflation. The higher the rate of inflation, the less valuable are the fixed dividend amounts. If the inflation rate declines, the value of the preferred stock is likely to increase, but no higher than the preferred stock’s call price.

Join PRO to Track Progress
Must-Watch Video

Advance Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Career

  • Perform better at your job
  • Get hired for a new position
  • Understand your small business
  • Pass your accounting class
Watch the Video

Join PRO or PRO Plus and Get Lifetime Access to Our Premium Materials

Read all 2,645 reviews

Features

PRO

PRO Plus

Features
Lifetime Access (One-Time Fee)
Explanations
Quizzes
Q&A
Word Scrambles
Crosswords
Bookkeeping Video Training
Financial Statements Video Training
Flashcards
Visual Tutorials
Quick Tests
Quick Tests with Coaching
Cheat Sheets
Business Forms
All PDF Files
Progress Tracking
Earn Badges and Points
Certificate - Debits and Credits
Certificate - Adjusting Entries
Certificate - Financial Statements
Certificate - Balance Sheet
Certificate - Income Statement
Certificate - Cash Flow Statement
Certificate - Working Capital
Certificate - Financial Ratios
Certificate - Bank Reconciliation
Certificate - Payroll Accounting

About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com.

Learn More About Harold

Certificates of
Achievement

Certificates of Achievement

We now offer 10 Certificates of Achievement for Introductory Accounting and Bookkeeping:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Adjusting Entries
  • Financial Statements
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital and Liquidity
  • Financial Ratios
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll Accounting
Badges and Points
  • Work towards and earn 30 badges
  • Earn points as you work towards completing our course
View PRO Plus Features
Course Outline
Take the Tour Join Pro Upgrade to Pro Plus