stock class

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Related to stock class: Class A Shares

Classified Stock

1. A type of stock in a publicly-traded company that issues more than one type of stock. Each type of classified stock has distinct rights attached to it. Two common classified stocks are preferred stock, which carries the right to guaranteed dividends, and common stock, which carries the right to vote in the annual meeting.

2. In mutual funds, a stock with a particular load. The load, which is the sales fee for buying into the mutual fund, is charged at different times depending on the stock class. For example, a class A stock has a load that is paid up front, while a class B stock has a load that is paid when one sells the shares in the mutual fund.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

stock class

1. A category of capital stock issued by a company and having specific rights or characteristics. Most firms have only a single class of stock outstanding. Thus, every share has exactly the same rights as every other share. But some companies have two or more classes of capital stock designated as class A, class B, and so forth. For example, one class may have controlling voting rights but both classes may share equally in dividends. In general, a firm issues different classes of stock when it wishes to sell one class to the public and reserve another class for its founders. Also called class, classified stock. See also common stock.
2. A category of stock issued by a mutual fund. Funds sometimes issue multiple classes of stock. A fund, for example, may have one class of shares that carries a sales fee and another class of shares that has a contingent deferred sales fee and a 12b-1 fee, but no initial sales fee. Both classes of shares would be based on the same portfolio of securities.
Case Study In early 1996, fabled investor Warren Buffett announced that Berkshire Hathaway planned its first equity offering in 30 years and would create a new class B common stock. At the same time, the company would designate existing shares as class A stock. The new shares would be offered to investors at one-thirtieth the price of a class A share, which, at the time of the announcement, was trading at an unbelievable $31,500. Approximately $100 million worth of the new shares were expected to be offered, so that they would qualify for listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Owners of class A shares could exchange their shares for class B stock at a rate of 30 shares of class B stock for each share of class A stock, but owners of class B stock would not be permitted to exchange shares for class A stock. At the time of the announcement, Buffett owned 40% of Berkshire Hathaway common stock. He said the decision to issue the lower-priced class B shares was a response to activity by investment trusts that specialized in owning shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock.
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.
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