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What is the statement of stockholders' equity?

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of the Statement of Stockholders’ Equity

The statement of stockholders’ equity (also known as the statement of shareholders’ equity, statement of equity, statement of changes in stockholders’ equity, statement of changes in shareholders’ equity, and statement of changes in equity) is one of the five required financial statements issued by a U.S. corporation whose common stock is publicly traded. This financial statement summarizes on one page all of the changes that occurred in the stockholders’ equity accounts during the accounting year.

Examples of the Columns Often Appearing on the Statement

The statement usually has the following columns into which the amounts will be sorted:

  • Common stock issued – number of shares
  • Common stock issued – total par value
  • Additional paid-in capital – common stock
  • Treasury stock – number of shares
  • Treasury stock – total cost
  • Retained earnings
  • Accumulated other comprehensive income or loss
  • Total stockholders’ equity

Examples of the Descriptions for the Rows or Lines Appearing on the Statement

Some typical descriptions for the amounts being reported include:

  • Beginning balances
  • Net earnings or loss
  • Other comprehensive income or detailed amounts
  • Stock-based compensation
  • Exercise of stock options
  • Sale of common stock
  • Repurchase of common stock
  • Cash dividends declared
  • Ending balances

To see a statement of stockholders’ equity, search the internet by entering a corporation’s name and the words investor relations 10-K. From the website select annual filings for Form 10-K. Choose the PDF format. Approximately half way down on the table of contents you will see Financial Statements. When you review the statement of stockholders’ equity you will see that it reports the amounts for each of the most recent three years.

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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

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