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Meaning / Definition of

Preference Shares

Categories: Stocks, Fundamental Analysis, Accounting,

capital stock which provides a specific dividend that is paid before any dividends are paid to common stock holders, and which takes precedence over common stock in the event of a liquidation. Like common stock, preference shares represent partial ownership in a company, although preferred stock shareholders do not enjoy any of the voting rights of common stockholders. Also unlike common stock, preference shares pay a fixed dividend that does not fluctuate, although the company does not have to pay this dividend if it lacks the financial ability to do so. The main benefit to owning preference shares are that the investor has a greater claim on the company's assets than common stockholders. Preferred shareholders always receive their dividends first and, in the event the company goes bankrupt, preferred shareholders are paid off before common stockholders. In general, there are four different types of preferred stock: cumulative preferred stock, non-cumulative preferred stock, participating preferred stock, and convertible preferred stock. also called preferred stock.

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Definition / Meaning of

Bankruptcy Proceedings

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Legal proceedings covered by bankruptcy code. The proceedings could result in liquidation or reorganization of the firm.

The bankruptcy procedure is: a) filing a petition (voluntary or involuntary) to declare a debtor person or business bankrupt, or, under chapter 11 or 13, to allow reorganization or refinancing under a plan to meet the debts of the party unable to meet his/her/its obligations. This petition is supposed to include a schedule of debts, assets and income potential. b) A hearing called "first meeting of creditors" with notice to all known creditors. This is usually brief and the judge assignes the matter to a professional trustee. c) Later the trustee reports and there is a determination of what debts are dischargeable, what assets are exempt, and what payments are possible. d) If there are assets available then the creditors are requested in writing to file a "creditor's claim." e) There may be other hearings, reports, proposals, hearings on claims of fraudulent debts, petitions for removing the stay on foreclosures and other matters. f) The final step is a hearing on discharge of the bankrupt, which wipes out unsecured debts (or a pro rata share of them).

Under chapter 11 and 13 proceedings, the process will be more drawn out and can go on for years as plans are proposed, possibilities of refinancing are considered and, in effect, the debtor tries either to legitimately get out from under his/her/its financial woes or delay while current profits are made and prayers for economic salvation are made.

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