Types of Preference Shares

In general, there are four different types of preference shares (preferred stocks):

1) Cumulative and Non cumulative shares:
Cumulative preference shares give the right to the preference shareholders to claim the dividends that are not paid in the previous year and they are paid in preference to ordinary dividends.
For non-cumulative or simple preference shares, any dividends that are unpaid or accrued in the previous year cannot be carried forward to the subsequent year or years in respect of that year, and that is considered lost by the shareholders.

2) Redeemable and Non-redeemable:
A redeemable preference share is issued on the terms where they are liable to be redeemed at either a fixed time, or the company's option or at the shareholders option. In other words, the company can buy back preference shares at an agreed time and price.
Non-redeemable or Irredeemable preference shares need not be repaid by the company except on winding up of the company. The company is not offering to buy back the securities.

3) Convertible and Non-convertible shares:
Convertible Preference Shares are corporate fixed-income securities that the shareholders have the option of converting them into a certain number of ordinary shares after a predetermined time span or on a specific date.
Non-Convertible Preference Shares are those which do not have the option of their conversion into the equity shares.

4) Participating and Non-participating
Participating Preference Shares are entitled to a fixed preferential dividend and have the right to participate further in the surplus profits after payment of certain rate of dividend on equity shares.
A non-participating share is entitled to fixed rate of dividend only. They do not have such rights to participate or claim for a part in the surplus profits of a company.

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