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Privilege granted shareholders of a corporation to subscribe to shares of a new issue of common stock before it is offered to the public. Such a right, which normally has a life of two to four weeks, is freely transferable and entitles the holder to buy the new common stock below the public offering price. See: Warrant.

Rights Offering

In stock, the ability of a shareholder to maintain the same percentage of ownership in a company should the company issue more stock by buying a proportional number of shares at or below the market price. This protects the investor from devaluation of his/her shares if the company decides to hold a round of financing. The purchase of this proportional number of shares usually takes place before the new issue is offered to the secondary market, and must be exercised before a certain date (known as the expiration date) if the shareholder is to maintain the same percentage of ownership. Rights offerings or issues are also called subscription rights or simply rights. See also: Anti-dilution provision.


A certificate that permits the owner to purchase a certain number of shares, or, frequently, a fractional share of new stock from the issuer at a specific price. Rights are issued to existing stockholders in proportion to the number of shares the stockholders already own. Rights then may be combined with cash to purchase the new shares or they may be sold to other investors. Rights usually have value because they permit the owner to purchase shares of stock at less than the market price. A right is indicated in stock transaction tables by the symbol rt, appearing after the stock's name. Also called stock right, subscription right. See also ex-rights, preemptive right.
Should rights be sold or used?

Rights offerings refer to the right of an investor to maintain his or her percentage ownership in a company when the company decides to issue new stock. Generally the company will do so at a discount to its market price to attract buyers, thus the existing stockholders' rights have value. The decision a rights holder must make is whether to put more money into the stock of this company or to sell the rights in the open market as compensation for the dilution of his or her percentage ownership in the company. TIP: Such a purchase depends completely on the individual's circumstances, goals, prejudices, and objectives—just as in any other stock purchase—and should be approached accordingly.

Thomas J. McAllister, CFP, McAllister Financial Planning, Carmel, IN


The opportunity a corporation gives a shareholder to buy additional shares at a special price for a limited time. Shareholders who don't use their rights can sell them to other investors.
References in periodicals archive ?
The bulk of Suburban Warriors is a walk through the big battles and shifting concerns of Orange County right-wingers up through the end of the '60s.
Normal flanker Sam Viggers, deputising at scrum-half for injured Ben Harvey, got on the end of a penalty line-out drive for a try but Westall, who had converted Vine's try, added the extra points to right-winger Andy McCrea's 60-yard solo try.
Tory grandee Lord Hurd dealt a blow to Conservative right-wingers yesterday when he accused them of persuading people that Europe represented the 'works of the devil'.
DOUBTS that the NHS can ever be safe in Conservative hands are reinforced when prominent right-wingers start talking about charging patients.
Right-wingers demanded a leadership crackdown on moderates, claiming a "leftwing militant tendency" was wrecking the party.
Right-winger Elliott took a clever pass from Robbie Blake and fired home a beauty into the top corner from 20 yards wit h his 'wrong' left foot for his first of the season in the 59th minute.
Two Jags has even dug out a 1975 team sheet on which he figures alongside goalkeeper Neil Kinnock, striker Robert Kilroy-Silk and a tricky right-winger who liked to drift inside - Jonathan Aitken.
Another former King, right-winger Rob Valicevic, played Sunday night for the Stars.
Frolov has competition: When the Kings moved right-winger Dustin Brown to the first line Sunday and again for Wednesday's game, they dropped left wing Alexander Frolov to the fourth unit with rookie center Esa Pirnes and right winger Jon Sim.
A study published yesterday showed the right-winger was set to win 54 per cent of the vote, with just 46 per cent for Royal.
Right-winger Iain Duncan Smith triumphed last time and another right-winger, David Davis, might win this time.
Howard, a right-winger, anchors a front line made up entirely of newcomers, with Rene Huegli on the opposite wing and Jeff Onstad at center.