Tracking stock

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Tracking stock

Best defined with an example. Suppose Company A purchases a business from Company B and pays B with 1 million shares of A's stock. The agreement provides that B cannot sell the 1 million shares for 60 days, and also prohibits B from hedging by purchasing put options on A's shares or short-selling A's shares. B is worried that the market may fall in the next 60 days. B could hedge by purchasing put options or selling the futures on the S&P 500. However, it is possible that A's business is much more cyclical than the S&P 500. One solution to this problem is to find a tracking stock. This is a stock that has high correlation with A. Let us call it Company C. The solution is to sell short or buy protective put options on this tracking stock C. This protects B from fluctuations in the price of A's stock over the next 60 days. Because the degree of the protection is related to the correlation of A and C's stock, it is extremely unlikely that the protection is perfect. Multidivisional firms have used a form of restructuring called tracking stock since 1984 to segment the performance of a particular division -- similar to a spin-off or carve-out, except that the parent firm does not relinquish control of the tracked division. Previously, this was known as alphabet stock, but the technically correct name is tracking stock (e.g., EDS traded for years as a tracking stock of GM). This is a way to reward managers for good divisional performance with an equity that is tied to their division-rather than potentially penalizing them compensation for bad performance in a division they have no control over.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

Tracking Stock

A stock in a department (but not an independent corporation) of a publicly-traded company. For example, a company may issue tracking stock representing its new green energy division. A tracking stock allows the company to gauge the performance of a new or untested product or department while still maintaining control over it. They were common during the dot-com bubble, as established companies formed internet divisions and wished to observe their performance.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

tracking stock

A common stock that provides holders with a financial interest in a particular segment of a company's business. Essentially, a tracking stock is a proxy for the value of the subsidiary if it were independent and publicly traded. Tracking stocks are generally issued by corporations that feel their firms are not being fully valued by investors.
Case Study In April 2000 General Motors Corporation offered owners of its $1 2/3 par value common stock an opportunity to exchange each of their shares for 1.065 shares of the firm's class H common stock. The company stated it would accept tenders of up to 86,396,977 shares, or approximately 14% of its outstanding common stock. Class H common was a tracking stock designed to provide holders with financial returns based on the financial performance of GM subsidiary Hughes, which General Motors would continue to control. Dividends to class H shareholders depended on the portion of Hughes's earnings allocated to the class H stock. Hughes's earnings were to be allocated based on a formula that incorporated the proportion of the class H stock outstanding (rather than held by GM). Dividends on class H stock were to be determined by the directors of General Motors. Owners of the class H shares had no claim on the assets of Hughes. Rather, they had rights in the assets of General Motors as common stockholders of GM, not Hughes. At the time of the exchange the company stated that GM directors had no plans to pay dividends on the class H shares in the foreseeable future. It also warned that under certain circumstances the class H shares were subject to being recapitalized into shares of the $1 2/3 par value common stock. In other words, GM shareholders who exchanged for the class H stock might be forced to convert back to the same stock they had given up in the initial exchange. General Motors later put its Hughes subsidiary up for sale.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.

Tracking stock.

Some corporations issue tracking stock, a type of common stock whose value is linked to the performance of a particular division or business within a larger corporation rather than to the corporation as a whole.

Tracking stock separates the finances of the division from those of the parent company, so that if the division falters or takes time to become profitable, the value of the traditional common stock won't be affected.

If you own tracking stock, you actually are invested in the parent company, since it continues to own the division that's being tracked, though typically you have no shareholder's voting rights in the corporation.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Fidelity Investments reported on Thursday that the Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Index Tracking Stock Fund (NASDAQ:ONEQ) will pay a dividend of USD1.00 per share from net investment income for the quarter.
Reuters reported that the move sets Dell on a collision course with some investors opposing the offer, including billionaire Carl Icahn, who owns 8.3 percent of the tracking stock. The report said, "Icahn argued in an open letter to other investors this week that the deal would unfairly give $11 billion in value to Dell's controlling shareholders, founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake."
A tracking stock doesn't actually impart ownership, but rather tracks a particular asset's performance.
outstanding Class V tracking stock, which was issued at the time of the Dell
Fidelity Investments said the Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Index Tracking Stock Fund (NASDAQ: ONEQ) will pay a quarterly dividend of USD 0.35 per share from net investment income.
The transaction will take the form of an exchange by EchoStar of two companies that will own the EchoStar Technologies businesses and other assets to be transferred for the HRG tracking stock, and is structured in a manner to be a tax-free exchange.
When the transaction closed on 7 September, EMC shareholders received USD 24.05 per share in cash in addition to tracking stock linked to a portion of EMC's economic interest in the VMware business.
An examination of the choice of tracking stock versus spin-off is important for two main reasons :
I examine the roles of valuable internal capital markets, cross-subsidization, and insider ownership as determinants of choice between tracking stock and spin-offs in corporate equity restructuring.
A second method of measuring the performance of business units is by issuing a tracking stock. The first tracking stock was issued in 1984 to facilitate General Motors' purchase of Electronic Data Systems.
In addition to tracking stock performance, students were required to write a two-page essay about their company's history and services.