Equity shares, also known as common shares or ordinary shares, represent ownership in a company. When a company issues equity shares, it is essentially selling ownership stakes in the company to investors.
Holders of equity shares are entitled to a portion of the company’s profits, which are paid out in the form of dividends. They also have the right to vote on certain matters related to the company, such as the election of the board of directors and major corporate actions like mergers and acquisitions.
Equity shares differ from other types of shares, such as preference shares, in that they do not come with any special privileges or preferences. This means that equity shareholders are typically the last to receive any payouts in the event of a company’s liquidation or bankruptcy.
Investing in equity shares can be a way for individuals to participate in the growth and success of a company, but it also carries risks, as the value of the shares can fluctuate based on market conditions and the performance of the company.
Equity Shares types
There are several types of equity shares that a company can issue. Some of the most common types include:
- Common Shares: These are the most basic type of equity shares, which represent ownership in the company and give shareholders the right to vote on certain matters and receive dividends.
- Preferred Shares: These shares come with certain preferences, such as the right to receive dividends before common shareholders, and may also have a fixed dividend rate.
- Redeemable Shares: These shares can be bought back by the company at a predetermined price or on a specific date.
- Voting Shares: These shares carry voting rights, which allow shareholders to participate in decisions related to the company’s management and direction.
- Non-voting Shares: These shares do not carry voting rights, but may still entitle shareholders to receive dividends.
- Dual-class Shares: These shares have different voting rights, with one class of shares typically having more votes per share than the other.
- Founder Shares: These shares are often issued to company founders and come with special privileges, such as greater voting rights or the ability to veto certain decisions.
Equity Shares Valuation and Calculation
The valuation of equity shares involves determining the fair market value of the shares. This can be done using various methods, including:
- Dividend Discount Model: This model calculates the present value of all expected future dividends that the company will pay to shareholders. The value of the equity shares is then determined by adding up the present value of all future dividends.
- Price-to-Earnings (P/E) Ratio: This model involves dividing the market price of a share by the earnings per share (EPS) of the company. The resulting ratio is then compared to the P/E ratios of other companies in the same industry to determine the relative value of the shares.
- Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Analysis: This model involves estimating the future cash flows that the company is expected to generate and discounting them back to their present value. The value of the equity shares is then calculated by adding up the present value of all expected cash flows.
To calculate the value of a single share of equity, you can divide the total market value of the company’s equity by the total number of outstanding shares. For example, if a company has a total market value of $10 million and 1 million outstanding shares, the value of a single share of equity would be $10.
It’s important to note that equity share valuation is not an exact science and can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as market conditions, company performance, and industry trends. Additionally, different valuation methods can result in different valuations, and it’s important to consider multiple methods to get a more accurate picture of the true value of the shares.
Preference shares, also known as preferred shares, are a type of equity security that generally offer preferential treatment to their holders in comparison to common shares.
Preference shares often have a fixed dividend rate that is paid to shareholders before any dividends are paid to holders of common shares. This fixed dividend is typically a percentage of the par value of the preference share, and it is usually paid on a regular basis (e.g., quarterly or annually).
Preference shares also usually have a priority claim over common shares in the event of the company’s liquidation or bankruptcy. This means that if the company has to liquidate its assets to pay off its debts, preference shareholders will receive their payments before common shareholders.
Preference shares can be further classified into different types, including cumulative and non-cumulative preference shares. Cumulative preference shares mean that any unpaid dividends accumulate and must be paid in full before common shareholders receive any dividends. Non-cumulative preference shares do not have this feature, meaning that any unpaid dividends do not accumulate.
Some preference shares may also be convertible, meaning that they can be exchanged for a certain number of common shares at a predetermined price or date.
Preference shares can be a way for investors to receive a steady stream of income while also having some protection in the event of the company’s financial difficulties. However, they may also have some drawbacks, such as limited voting rights and a potentially lower rate of return than common shares.
Preference Shares Types
There are several different types of preference shares that companies may issue, some of which include:
- Cumulative Preference Shares: These shares come with a promise that any unpaid dividends will accumulate and be paid in full before common shareholders receive any dividends. This type of share can be particularly attractive to investors seeking a steady stream of income.
- Non-Cumulative Preference Shares: These shares do not carry the feature of accumulating unpaid dividends. If a company does not pay a dividend in any given year, the shareholders of non-cumulative preference shares do not have a right to claim those dividends in future years.
- Convertible Preference Shares: These shares come with the option to convert them into a certain number of common shares at a specified price or on a predetermined date. This can be an attractive feature if the value of the company’s common shares is expected to increase in the future.
- Redeemable Preference Shares: These shares can be redeemed by the company at a specified price or on a predetermined date. This provides the company with flexibility to manage its capital structure.
- Participating Preference Shares: These shares allow the shareholders to participate in the profits of the company, above and beyond their fixed dividend. They may have a lower fixed dividend than non-participating preference shares.
- Non-participating Preference Shares: These shares do not allow the shareholders to participate in any profits of the company, beyond their fixed dividend.
Preference shares Valuation and Calculation
Valuation of preference shares typically involves determining the present value of the expected future cash flows from the preference shares.
The calculation of the value of preference shares will depend on the type of preference share, but one approach to valuation is as follows:
- Determine the annual dividend payment for the preference share. This will typically be a fixed percentage of the par value of the preference share.
- Estimate the required rate of return for the preference share. This is the rate of return that an investor would expect to receive for investing in the preference share. The required rate of return will depend on various factors, including the current market interest rates, the creditworthiness of the company and the specific characteristics of the preference share.
- Use the required rate of return to discount the annual dividend payments to determine the present value of the preference share. For example, if the annual dividend payment is $2 and the required rate of return is 5%, the present value of the preference share would be $40 ($2 / 0.05).
- If the preference share is convertible, the value of the conversion option should also be considered when valuing the preference share. This will depend on the market price of the common shares, the conversion ratio and the expected price of the common shares in the future.
It’s important to note that preference shares are often valued differently than common shares, as they may have different characteristics and risk profiles. Additionally, the market price of preference shares may be influenced by a variety of factors, including interest rates, company performance, and market conditions. As with any investment, it’s important to consider multiple factors and perform due diligence before making an investment decision.
Key Differences Between Equity Shares and Preference Shares
|Characteristics||Equity Shares||Preference Shares|
|Ownership||Represent ownership in the company, with voting rights||Represent ownership in the company, without or limited voting rights|
|Dividend Payments||Dividends are paid out of profits after payment of preference dividends||Dividends are paid at a fixed rate, before any dividend is paid on equity shares|
|Risk and Return||Shareholders bear more risk, but also have higher potential for returns||Shareholders have lower risk but lower potential for returns|
|Redemption||Not redeemable, except in the case of buyback or delisting||Usually redeemable at a fixed date or after a certain period of time|
|Conversion||Not convertible into any other security||Convertible into other securities, such as equity shares, at a predetermined rate|
|Preference in Asset Distribution||Have no preference in the distribution of assets in case of liquidation||Have preference in the distribution of assets in case of liquidation, before equity shareholders|
Important Differences Between Equity Shares and Preference Shares
- Ownership: Equity shares represent ownership in the company and come with voting rights, which means that shareholders can vote on important matters related to the company. In contrast, preference shares represent ownership in the company but usually do not come with voting rights, or have limited voting rights.
- Dividend Payments: Equity shareholders are entitled to dividends, but the rate and amount of dividends are not fixed and depend on the company’s profitability and the board’s decision. In contrast, preference shareholders are entitled to a fixed rate of dividends, which is usually higher than the dividend rate on equity shares. Preference dividends must be paid before any dividends are paid to equity shareholders.
- Risk and Return: Equity shareholders bear more risk and uncertainty as the dividend and capital gains are dependent on the company’s performance. They have the potential to earn higher returns if the company performs well. In contrast, preference shareholders bear lower risk as they receive a fixed rate of dividends and are entitled to be paid before equity shareholders. However, their potential for returns is also limited as their dividend is fixed.
- Redemption: Equity shares are not redeemable, except in the case of buyback or delisting, while preference shares can be redeemable at a fixed date or after a certain period of time. The redemption of preference shares can be mandatory or optional, depending on the terms of the share issuance.
- Convertibility: Equity shares are not convertible into any other security, while preference shares are convertible into other securities, such as equity shares, at a predetermined rate. This feature provides flexibility to preference shareholders, who can convert their shares into equity shares if the company performs well and the value of equity shares increases.
- Preference in Asset Distribution: In the event of the company’s liquidation, preference shareholders have preference in the distribution of assets before equity shareholders. Preference shareholders receive their capital before equity shareholders receive theirs.
Similarities Between Equity Shares and Preference Shares
Equity shares and preference shares are both types of shares issued by companies. Although they have some significant differences, there are also some similarities between equity and preference shares. Here are some of the similarities:
- Represent ownership in the company: Both equity and preference shares represent ownership in the company. When someone buys equity or preference shares of a company, they become a shareholder and are entitled to certain rights and benefits.
- Issued by the company: Both equity and preference shares are issued by the company, with the approval of its board of directors and shareholders.
- Dividend payments: Both types of shares are eligible to receive dividend payments. Dividends are usually paid out of the company’s profits and are distributed to shareholders in proportion to their shareholding.
- Voting rights: In most cases, both equity and preference shares come with voting rights. Shareholders can vote on important matters related to the company, such as electing directors, approving mergers and acquisitions, and amending the company’s articles of association.
- Transferable: Both equity and preference shares are generally transferable, which means that shareholders can sell or transfer their shares to other investors.
- Exchanges: Both types of shares can be listed on stock exchanges, allowing investors to buy and sell them on a secondary market.
Laws governing Equity Shares and Preference Shares
Equity shares and preference shares are two types of shares issued by companies. They have different characteristics and legal frameworks governing them. Here are some of the laws that govern equity and preference shares:
Companies Act, 2013: The Companies Act, 2013 is the primary legislation that governs the issuance, management, and transfer of shares by companies in India. It outlines the requirements for issuing and allotting shares, the rights and obligations of shareholders, and the procedures for transfer of shares.
Securities Contract Regulation Act, 1956: The Securities Contract Regulation Act, 1956 regulates the securities market in India. It covers the issue, transfer, and registration of securities, including equity and preference shares. The act also governs the functioning of stock exchanges and other market intermediaries.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Regulations: SEBI is the regulator for the securities market in India. It issues various regulations and guidelines to regulate the issuance and transfer of securities, including equity and preference shares. These regulations cover areas such as disclosure requirements, insider trading, and shareholding patterns.
Income Tax Act, 1961: The Income Tax Act, 1961 governs the taxation of companies and individuals. It covers the taxation of dividends, capital gains, and other income earned from equity and preference shares.
Listing Agreement: Companies whose shares are listed on stock exchanges in India are required to comply with the listing agreement. The listing agreement contains various requirements and regulations relating to the issuance and transfer of shares, disclosure requirements, and corporate governance.