Cumulative Preferred Stock

Cumulative Preferred Stock
See also

Cumulative Preferred Stock is „preferred stock on which all dividends must be paid before the common stock receives any dividend. These dividends on a cumulative preferred stock must be paid even for years in which the corporation did not earn an adequate profit to pay the stated dividend” (J.D. Ashcroft, J. Ashcroft 2001, s. 414).

Cumulative Preferred Stock is more widespread than non-preferred shares. If the person collecting the dividend has accumulated preference shares and does not receive the dividend due, the issuer is still owed that dividend. If the issuer announces a joint dividend, it must first make all outstanding payments to cumulative senior shareholders (S.M. Rice 2007, s. 68).

The most preferred type of share is the one whereby persons with dividend rights do not have voting rights. Sometimes, however, the holder of cumulative preferred stock may be entitled to vote if the company whose shares it holds is late with several dividend payments (The Securities Institute of America Inc. 2015, s. 15).

Preferred Stock

Preferred stock „is a hybrid - it is similar to bonds in some respects and to common stock in other ways. Accountants classify preferred stock as equity, hence show it on the balance sheet as an equity account. However, from a finance perspective preferred stock lies somewhere between debt and common equity -it imposes a fixed charge and thus increases the firm's financial leverage, yet omit ting the preferred dividend does not force a company into bankruptcy. Also, unlike interest on debt, preferred dividends are not deductible by the issuing corporation, so a preferred stock has a higher cost of capital than debt. We first describe the basic features of preferred, after which we discuss the types of preferred stock and the advantages and disadvantages of preferred stock” (E. Brigham, M. Ehrhardt 2008, s. 743). There are a few various types of Preferred Stock (E. Brigham, M. Ehrhardt 2008, s. 743):

  • Basic Features,
  • Adjustable-Rate Preferred Stock (ARPs),
  • Cumulative Preferred Stock,
  • Market Auction Preferred Stock.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Preferred Stock

Advantages (E. Brigham, M. Ehrhardt 2011, s. 764):

  1. Unlike bonds, the obligation to pay a privileged dividend is not certain, and the transfer (not paying) of a privileged dividend cannot force a company to go bankrupt;
  2. By issuing preference shares, the company avoids dilution of ordinary capital that occurs when ordinary shares are sold;
  3. Because preferred shares sometimes have no maturity, and because preferred fund withdrawals (if present) are usually spread over a long period, preferred issues reduce the drainage of cash flow from principal repayment that occurs with debt issuance.

Disadvantages (E. Brigham, M. Ehrhardt 2011, s. 764):

  1. Dividends from preferred shares are usually not deductible from the issuer, so the preferred cost after tax is usually higher than the cost of debt after tax. However, the tax advantage favored by corporate buyers reduces pre-tax costs, and thus effective cost;
  2. Although the preferred dividends can be transferred, investors expect their payments and companies intend to pay them if the conditions allow. Therefore, preferred dividends are considered a fixed cost. As a result, their use as debt increases the financial risk and thus the cost of shared capital.


Author: Agnieszka Damian