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Preference Share – Definition, Examples, Pros, Cons, Why to Invest?


Preferred stock is a company’s equity that receives dividends prior to common stock. Preferred stock is also refer as preference shares. In the event of insolvency, preferred investors get payable from the company’s assets first. Let us understand preference share definition with examples, pros and cons of it.

When a company declares bankruptcy, the holders of its securities have the right to reclaim its assets. The various security agreements will define the order in which the proportional shares of the assets are distributed to the security holders. Typically, preference shares have priority over regular shares, so their holders receive payment first. Priority shares are ranked behind corporate bonds and debentures.

Preference Shares Definition

A preference share, also referred to as preferred stock, pays dividends before common stock. preference shareholders have stronger distribution rights than common shareholders. Preference shareholders receive dividends first and have priority when it comes to the company’s assets over common stock shareholders. Non-voting preference shareholders receive a fixed dividend.

Long-term stock market investors demand preference shares. These shares pay dividends that are greater than those of common stock. Numerous preference shareholders own only this form of stock, proving its popularity.

It is anticipated that the distribution of preference shares by companies will continue. They own both equity and debt in the company. In this regard, these shares constitute hybrid financing arrangements.

Overview of Preference Shares

There are four categories i.e.. cumulative, non-cumulative, participatory, convertible and different types of preference shares. The condition of cumulative preferred stock requires the company to pay dividends in the past. Before dividends can be payable to common shareholders, the corporation must comply.

The promised dividends may not be payable on schedule. When the dividend is eventually payable, the investor must get any unpaid dividends in arrears. During certain seasons of the year, this preferred stock may pay higher dividends.

Non-cumulative preferred shares are not entitle to dividends. If a firm decides not to pay dividends one year, non-cumulative preferred investors cannot later receive those payments, even if the company changes its mind the next year and pays dividends.

Participating preferred stockholders can receive dividends equal to the preferred dividend rate plus an additional payout based on a specified condition if the stock meets specific conditions.

Typically, this extra payout is granted only if the total dividends paid to common shareholders exceed a predetermined amount per share. Participating preferred shareholders may additionally be entitle to a proportional portion of the corporation’s remaining liquidation proceeds. This privilege may only be available during a liquidation.

After a set date, holders of convertible preferred stock may convert their shares into a predetermined number of common shares. In the majority of instances, the shareholder requires the exchange of convertible preferred shares.

The shares of a firm may contain a clause empowering shareholders or the issuer to compel the issuance. The value of convertible common stocks is determine by the market performance of the underlying stock.

Example of Preference Shares

The operation of preferred stocks might assist with their definition. Here is an instance: Company C is obligated to issue 10,000 preferred shares. These 100 rupees shares offer an annual dividend yield of 8%. C company has not paid the dividends owed to preference shareholders in 2022 and 2023.

Prior to the payment of common shareholders in 2024, preference stockholders will be compensated 2,400,000 rupees. This is the cumulative dividend for all stockholders over the past three years. When a company begins paying dividends, preference shareholders are paid first.

Pros of Preference Shares / Stocks

Preference stock benefits both the issuer and the shareholders. These two classes describe the benefits. Investors benefit from the following pros of preference shares:


The flexibility of preferred stock permits a company’s management and board of directors to structure its use as they see fit. To attract investors, a corporation may issue preference shares based on the desired ratio.

Using cumulative preferred stock, the issuer can delay dividend payments to shareholders. This is advantageous for investors without dividend funds. This agreement permits them to delay payment until adequate funds are available.


Preference shares are comparable to common stocks and fixed-income securities. Depending on the type of preference shares, company, and firm in which the stocks are purchase. Dividend payouts can offer investors with a constant passive income.


Additionally, preferred shares may be attractive to investors. Common stockholders are less secure than preferred investors. When liquidate, they have first claim on the company’s assets.

Cons of Preference Shares / Stocks

Similar to other financial products, preference shares contain inherent risks that amplify their drawbacks. When there are significant market fluctuations, dividends are unclear. Those with a limited risk tolerance should avoid this investing option.

Initially, PAT-related preference shares could result in increased profitability. On the other hand, the potential hazards are huge. Lastly, these shares are often issue by large firms that are able to distribute substantial dividends to a large number of shareholders over time. It may appear risk-free, but success is not assurance.

Why you Should Invest in Preference Shares?

These stocks have advantages over others. Choose these shares as your investment vehicle to safeguard your money and reap the benefits of preference shares. In the event that a corporation files bankruptcy, preferential stockholders will receive first dibs on assets up for auction.

In uncertain times, such benefits entice investors with low risk tolerance. If the common stock of the company performs well, preferred shareholders can convert a portion of their shares and profit from the gain in value.

Numerous corporations provide investors callable preference shares. Due to the wording, the investor is able to repurchase shares at any time. The majority of investors stand to benefit from numerous advantages.


If you desire long-term dividends, you should purchase preferred stock. A number of investors can gain from preference shares. If you intend to purchase these shares, you must be aware of their benefits and drawbacks and ensure that they align with your investment objectives and risk tolerance.

Becoming a preference shareholder is one way to reduce the risk associated with firm ownership. Preferred shareholders are entitle to dividends and business assets in the event of insolvency. If a shareholder chooses to alter their ownership percentage, they can exchange their preference shares for common shares. Some dividends on preference shares may be defer until the company is able to pay dividends.

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