common stock


Definition of common stock 

: stock other than preferred stock

Examples of common stock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Cohu will pay Xcerra shareholders $9 a share in cash and 0.2109 of Cohu common stock for each share, the companies said in joint news release Tuesday. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "Cohu Bags Rival U.S. Chip Tester Xcerra After Chinese Deal Thwarted," 8 May 2018 Endeavor will acquire each share of outstanding common stock of NeuLion for 84 cents. David Ng,, "Endeavor acquires digital streaming company NeuLion," 27 Mar. 2018 Each share of Dell Technologies Class V stock will be converted into about 1.37 shares of Class C common stock, Dell Technologies said. Allison Prang, WSJ, "Dell Technologies Confirms Deal That Would Mark Return to Public Markets," 2 July 2018 The equity offerings come to $1.1 billion in common stock and $500,000 in preferred stock. Rob Nikolewski,, "Sempra makes $1.6B stock offering to wrap up Oncor acquisition," 10 July 2018 Goff holds 764,170 shares, an amount that includes 151,513 options to acquire common stock and 620 shares held under the Andeavor 401k plan, that are valued at more than $116 million. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, "The Biggest Winners in the $23 Billion Marathon-Andeavor Deal," 30 Apr. 2018 Only when the company receives a new 409a valuation, typically from a third-party reporting firm, will any valuation become official and govern future common stock options. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently tried to value itself at $8 billion," 27 Apr. 2018 LyondellBasell will purchase Schulman common stock for $42 per share, an 8.7 percent premium to A. Schulman's closing price on Feb. 14. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "LyondellBasell announces deal to acquire A. Schulman," 15 Feb. 2018 Based upon the closing price of First Midwest’s common stock on June 5, on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the overall transaction is valued at approximately $91 million. Bob Bong, Daily Southtown, "Comings & Goings: Raffy’s opens sweet shop in Frankfort," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'common stock.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of common stock

1784, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for common stock

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for common stock

The first known use of common stock was in 1784

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More Definitions for common stock

common stock


Financial Definition of common stock

What It Is

Common stock represents ownership interests in corporations.

How It Works

The most prominent characteristics of common stock are that they entitle the shareholder to vote on corporate matters (typically, the shareholder gets one vote for every share he or she owns, though that is not always the case) such as whether the company should acquire another company, who the board members should be and other big decisions. Common stock also often comes with preemptive rights, which means the shareholder has a "right of first refusal," or first dibs on buying any new stock the company tries to issue.

Perhaps the most important attribute of common stock is that their holders are the last in line when it comes to getting their money back. If the company goes bankrupt and has to sell off its assets, the cash from the asset sale first goes to lenders, employees and lawyers. The shareholders get whatever is left (which is usually nothing, or just a few pennies for every dollar they originally invested).

Why It Matters

If you own one, 100 or 100 million shares of stock in a company, you're an owner of the company. There are different kinds of stocks, and their classifications largely depend on the rights they confer on the holder. Investors evaluate these categories based on their investment objectives, and they look for stocks that meet those objectives. The two most popular categories of stock are common stock and preferred stock.

Although preferred stock owners don't usually get any voting rights, they usually receive a steady dividend and their claim to the company's assets "outrank" the common stockholders' claims (i.e., in the event of bankruptcy, the company must pay off lenders, preferred shareholders, employees and lawyers before the common shareholders get anything).

Source: Investing Answers

common stock

Legal Definition of common stock 

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More from Merriam-Webster on common stock

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