Common stock

Common stock

Common stock is a form of corporate equity ownership, a type of security.

Common stock represents ownership of a company, and are the most common form of stocks issues by companies. They give the common stock holder the right to share in company profits, and to vote on issues determining corporate policy and the composition of the board of directors.

The term 'common stock' is most commonly used in the United States, and in the other parts of the world people refer to common stocks as voting shares, ordinary shares, equity shares (United Kingdom and common wealth countries).

The capital yield of common stocks typically outperform other forms of investments due to capital growth (increase of common stock value), but also pose more risk to individuals owning common stocks due to the price volatility of common stock determined by market conditions and the possibility of future bankruptcy.


Since common stocks represent ownership of a company, individuals owning common stocks have a right to claim a portion of the companies profits in the form of dividends. The amount of dividends payed to common stock holders is proportional to the amount of company profits and to the amount of common stock held by each individual.

Dividends are typically paid out quarterly (other dividend payout arrangements are possible) if the company issuing common stocks reports excess earnings. Common stock holders can receive dividends in two forms: a cash dividend or a stock dividend. A cash dividend is issued directly into a common stockholders bank account or through a dividend check which can be deposited immediately for cash. A stock dividend, also known as dividend reinvestment, increases the amount of common stocks a common stock holder owns within a company.

Dividend reinvestment

Dividend reinvestment is a way for companies to reward their common stock holders by allowing them to gain additional common stock without having to purchase stocks through a brokerage firm. Companies make dividend reinvestment is an attractive option for common stock holders by allowing common stock holders to gain additional common stock in a company at a discounted price (typically between 1-10%) without paying any commission fees.

Types of common stock




Further reading


Documentaries, videos and podcasts


Common Stock (what it is and how to record it)

September 3, 2014

Types of Common Stock

June 14, 2013




August 2, 2019
The Board of Directors of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) today declared a cash dividend of $0.87 cents per share on the Common Stock, payable on September 10, 2019 to shareholders of record of Common Stock at the close of business on August 13, 2019. This third quarter dividend is at the same level as the dividend paid in the second quarter of 2019. Through its dividends, the corporation has shared its success with its shareholders for more than 100 years and has increased its annual...
Regulus Therapeutics Inc.
May 7, 2019
LA JOLLA, Calif., May 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: RGLS), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of ...
Velan Capital, L.P.
May 6, 2019
ALPHARETTA, Ga., May 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Velan Capital, L.P. (together with its affiliates, "Velan"), one of the largest stockholders of Progenics...
EOG Resources, Inc.
Invalid Date
HOUSTON, Feb. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG) has declared a dividend of $0.22 per share on EOG's Common Stock,...
Loews Corporation
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NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Loews Corporation (NYSE: L) announced today the declaration of the Company's quarterly dividend of $0.0625 per share of ...


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