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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 C form is a gene of chance in that half the people with this gene are lefthanded and half are right-handed.
Results showed that right-handed volunteers found it far more difficult to deal with this incorrect cue when it was given to their right hands, making more mistakes and taking longer to successfully inhibit the reaches, almost as if the right hand was already pre-selected to carry on during the bimanual reach.
Many other chasers share Mister Flint's idiosyncrasy of jumping in a certain direction, with Racing Demon, who has a tendency to jump right - even on right-handed tracks where he has been known to clip the inside wings of fences - an example.
It was apparent that using the same teaching methods as I did for right-handed students did not provide the same results.
When I speak to groups I often take a quick poll to find out how many people are right-handed and how many are left-handed.
right-handed pitcher Tyler Graham (Shingle Sprigs, Calif.
A right-handed batter is given the take signal on a 3-0 count.
Prof McManus picked up the Aventis general prize for his book on asymmetry, Right Hand, Left Hand, which attempts to explain why most people are right-handed.
Are right-handed people more coordinated than lefties?
In particular, a right-handed golfer grips the putter grip with their right hand in a conventional manner so that the thumb on the right hand is placed straight down the top surface of the putter grip.
Scans of 87 foetuses revealed that as soon as it was possible to observe the limb buds moving, most showed a strong preference for right-handed movement.
There she claims that women were associated with left because the 80% of them who are right-handed hold the nursing infant in the left arm in order to free the right hand for other tasks.