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Financial Terms

 

American Depository Receipt - ADR A stock representing a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation. ADR's are bought and sold in the American markets just like regular stocks. An ADR is issued by a U.S. Bank, consisting of a bundle of shares of a foreign corporation that are being held in custody overseas. The foreign entity must provide financial information to the sponsor bank. ADR's do not eliminate the currency and economic risks for the underlying shares in another country.

ADR's are listed on either the NYSE, AMEX, or NASDAQ.

American Depository Share - ADS A share issued under deposit agreement that represents an underlying security in the issuers home country.

Balance Sheet

A condensed financial statement showing the nature and amount of a company's assets, liabilities and capital on a given date. In dollar amounts the balance sheet shows that the company owned, what it owed, and the ownership interest in the company of its stockholders.


Bear Market

A term to describe a market of declining prices

Bear (Bull)

For generations, bulls and bears on Wall Street have referred to two decidedly different types of investors - the bulls being those who expect stock prices to rise, the bears being those who believe prices are about to decline.

Bearer Bond

A bond that does not have the owner's name registered on the books of the issuer. Interest and prin-cipal, when due, are payable to the owner.

Blue Chip

A company known nationally for the quality of its products or services, its reliability, and its ability to operate profitably in good and bad economic times.

 

Callable

Term to describe a bond issue all or part of which may be redeemed by the issuing corporation under specified conditions before maturity. The term also applies to preferred shares that may be redeemed by the issuing corporation.

 

Call Option

A contract that gives the holder the right to buy the underlying stock at a specified price (the strike price) within a fixed period of time.

 

Capital Gain

Profit earned on the sale of securities, either through dividends or by selling the securities at a higher price than they originally cost.

 

Capital Stock

All shares representing ownership of a business, including common and preferred

 

Capitalization

Total amount of various securities issued bya corporation. Capitalization may include bonds, debentures, preferred and common stock, and surplus .

 

Certificate

The actual piece of paper that is evidence of ownership of stock in a corporation. Watermarked paper is finely engraved with delicate etchings to discourage forgery.

 

Certificate of Deposit

An agreement with a bank that you will leave your money on deposit for a specified period of time in return for a specific amount of interest.

 

Commercial Paper

Very short term IOUs written by reputable blue chip companies in need of short-term financing.

 

Conglomerate

A corporation that has diversified in operations usually by acquiring enterprises in widely varied industries.

 

Convertible

A bond, debenture or preferred share that may be exchanged by the owner for a fixed number of common shares of other securities usually of the same company, in accordance with the terms of the issue.

 

Corporate Bond

A bond issued by a corporation.

 

Coupon Bond

A bond with interest coupons attached. The coupons are clipped as they come due and presented by the holder for payment of interest. Currently, while the term "coupon" is still sometimes used to refer to the interest payments on a bond, the physical possession of securities has been made obsolete by computers.

 

Cummulative Preferred

A stock having a provision that if one or more dividends are omitted, the omitted dividends must be paid before dividends may be paid on the company's common stock.

 

CUSIP

CUSIP is the trademark for a system that uniquely identifies securities trading in the United States. It was developed in the late 1960's by The American Bankers Association as a way to standardize the identification and tracking of securities. The CUSIP number consists of nine digits -- the first six identify the issuer and 7-9 identify the issue. Please note that CUSIP numbers are a trademark of the American Bankers Association and, as such, cannot be posted on our website.


Depository Trust Company (DTC)

The Depository Trust Company (DTC) is the world's largest securities depository with more than $10 trillion worth of securities in custody. In 1995, DTC processed $41 trillion of securities through its book-entry settlement system. DTC is a national clearing house for the settlement of trade in corporate and municipal securities and performs securities custody-related services for its participating banks and broker-dealers. DTC is owned by members of the financial industry and by their representatives who are its users. DTC is 35.1% owned by the New York Stock Exchange on behalf of the Exchange's members. It is operated by a separate management and has an independent board of directors. It is a limited purpose trust company and is a member of the Federal Reserve.

Dividend

The payment designated by the Board of Directors to be distributed pro rata among the shares out-standing. For preferred shares, the dividend is usually a fixed amount. For common shares, the dividend varies with the fortunes of the company and the amount of cash on hand, and may be omitted if business is poor or if the directors determine to withhold earnings to invest in plants and equip-ment. Sometimes a company will pay a dividend out of past earnings even if it is not currently operating at a profit.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is an index used to measure the performance of the U.S. financial markets. Introduced on May 26, 1896 by Charles H. Dow, it is the oldest stock price measure in continuous use. Over the past century "the Dow" has become the most widely recognized stock market indication in the U.S. and probably in the entire world. The 30 stocks included in today's Dow are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, except for Microsoft and Intel, and are all large blue-chip companies that reflect the health of the U.S. economy. All but a handful of these have major business operations throughout the rest of the world, thus providing some insight into the economic well-being of the global economy.

The Dow has been repeatedly updated over the decades to reflect changes in Corporate America. From the original 12 stocks used in 1896 it was increased to 20 stocks in 1916 and then 30 stocks in 1928. The most recent modification occurred on November 1, 1999 when Home Depot, Intel, Microsoft, SBC replaced Chevron, Goodyear, Sears, Union Carbide, respectively. Intel and Microsoft, which both trade on the Nasdaq stock market, are the first Dow 30 components that are not listed on the New York Stock Exchange since the Dow Jones Industrial Average was created in 1896.

Though it is only the unweighted average of 30 stock prices, over the long run the DJIA's tracking of market movements has closely paralleled more broadly based capitalization-weighted indexes like the New York Stock Exchange Composite, the Standard & Poor's 500 and the Wilshire 5000. In 1896 the Dow was computed as the sum of the prices of 12 stocks divided by the number of stocks. Since then the divisor has been adjusted to compensate for stock splits and other distributions that would create distortions in the average that did not reflect a change in value of the stocks. The value of the adjusted divisor as of November 1, 1999 was 0.20435952. Its current value is printed in the Wall Street Journal every day.

The following are the companies that make up the Dow:

Company Name(Ticker Symbol)
AlliedSignal Inc. (ALD)
ALCOA Inc.(AA)
American Express Co.(AXP)
AT&T Corp.(T)
Boeing Co. (BA)
Caterpillar Inc.(CAT)
Citigroup Inc.(C)
Coca-Cola Co.(KO)
Dupont Co.(DD)
Eastman Kodak Co.(EK)
Exxon Corp.(XON)
General Electric Co.(GE)
General Motors Corp.(GM)
Hewlett Packard Co.(HWP)
Home Depot (HD)
Intel (INTC)
International Business Machines Corp.(IBM)
International Paper Co.(IP)
JP Morgan & Co.(JPM)
Johnson & Johnson(JNJ)
McDonalds Corp. (MCD)
Merck & Co.(MRK)
Microsoft (MSFT)
Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. (MMM)
Phillip Morris Co.(MO)
Procter & Gamble Co.(PG)
SBC Communications, Inc. (SBC)
United Technologies Corp.(UTX)
WalMart (WMT)
Walt Disney Co. (DIS)


Equipment Trust Certificate

A type of security, generally issued by a railroad, to pay for new equipment. Title to the equipment, such as a airplane, is held by a trustee until the notes are paid off. An equipment trust certificate is usually secured by a first claim on the equipment.

Holding Company

A corporation that owns a large number of shares in other companies. Holding companies use the voting rights that come with their shares to exert influence over the companies under them.

Income Statement

A report on a company's financial status over a period of time. It totals profits, subtracts expenses and pinpoints how much money the company can reinvest.

Income Stock

Common stocks that pay large dividends that an investor could use as income.

 

Indenture

A written agreement under which bonds and debentures are issued, setting forth maturity date, interest rate, and other terms

 

Independent Broker

Member on the floor of the NYSE who executes orders for other brokers who are too busy to handle all of their orders, or for firms who do not have their Exchange member on the floor. Independents are still sometimes referred to as "two dollar brokers" because they originally received $2 for every hundred shares they traded. Now their fees are paid by the commission brokers.

 

Initial Public Offering

An issue of new stock by a once private company to transform itself into a publicly held one. IPOs are usually done to raise cash for growing young companies that need larger sources of capital than the private sector can provide. The new shares are sold to one or more investment banks, which then sell them to the public.  Also known as "going public", its the first sale of stock by a company inviting the public to subscribe in its shares. IPOs are often smaller, newer companies seeking equity capital to expand their businesses.

Investment Bank

Also known as underwriters, investment banks serve as middlemen between corporations issuing new securities and the buying public. Normally one or more investment banks buy the new issue of securities from the issuing company for a negotiated price. The company walks away with this new supply of capital, while the investment banks form a syndicate and resell the issue to their customer base and the investing public. Investment banks perform a variety of other financial services, such as merger and acquisition advice and market analysis.

Liabilities

All claims against the assets of a corporation. Liabilities can include accounts, wages and salaries payable; dividends declared; accrued taxes; and fixed or long-term debt such as bonds and bank loans.

Margin Call

A demand upon a customer to put up money or securities with the broker. The call is made when a purchase is made; also if a customer's equity in a margin account declines below a minimum standard set by the Exchange or by the firm.

Mortgage Bond

A bond secured by a mortgage on a property. The value of the property may or may not equal the value of the bond issued against it.

Municipal Bond

A bond issued by a county, city, district or authority.

Mutual Fund

A portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities administered by a team of one or more managers from an investment company who make buy and sell decisions on component securities. Capital is contributed by smaller investors who buy shares in the mutual fund rather than the individual stocks and bonds in its portfolio. The return on the fund's holdings is distributed back to its contributors, or shareholders, minus various fees and commissions. This system allows small investors to participate in the reduced risk of a large and diverse portfolio that they could not otherwise build themselves. They also have the benefit of professional managers overseeing their money who have the time and expertise to analyze and pick securities.

There are two types of mutual funds, open and closed ended. Shares in closed-end funds, some of which are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, are readily transferable in the open market and are bought and sold like other stock. These funds do not accept new contributions from investors, but only reinvest the return on the existing portfolio.

Open-end funds sell their own new shares to investors, stand ready to buy back their old shares, and are not listed on exchanges. Open-end funds are so called because their capitalization is not fixed; they issue more shares as people want them. Many open ended funds allow contributors extra perks, such as the ability to write checks with their portion.

NASDAQ

The National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation is a global intranet providing brokers and dealers with price quotations on traded over-the-counter. Unlike the NYSE auction market where orders meet on a trading floor, NASDAQ orders are paired and executed on a computer network. Level I service provides the best bid and offer (BBO) in a given security without identifying the market maker. Level II service provides the BBO and identifies the market maker. Level III service allows registered market makers to compete and trade by entering their own bids and offers.


NASD


The National Association of Securities Dealers is an industry association of broker/dealers in the over-the-counter securities business. The NASD is self-regulatory body and administers the NASDAQ stock market.


New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)


The NYSE marketplace blends public pricing with assigned dealer responsibilities. Aided by advanced technology, public orders meet and interact on the trading floor with a minimum of dealer interference. The result is competitive price discovery at the point of sale. Liquidity in the NYSE auction market system is provided by individual and institutional investors, member firms trading for their own accounts, and assigned specialists. The NYSE is linked with other markets trading listed securities through the Intermarket Trading System (ITS).

NYSE-assigned dealers, known as specialists, are responsible for maintaining a fair and orderly market in the securities assigned to them. Most trading, however, is conducted by brokers acting on behalf of customers, rather than by dealers trading for their own account. For this reason, the NYSE is often described as an agency auction market. The interaction of natural buyers and sellers determines the price of an NYSE-listed stock.


Noncumulative

A type of preferred stock on which unpaid dividends do not accrue. Omitted dividends are, as a rule, gone forever.

 

Participating Preferred

A preferred stock, that is entitled to its stated dividend, and, also, to additional dividends on a specific basis upon payment of dividends on the common stock.

Partnership

A business relationship in which two or more people agree to share the risks and profits of running a business.

Penny Stock A stock that typically sells for less than $1 a share, although it may rise to as much as $10/share as a result of heavy promotion. All are traded OTC, many of them in the local markets of Denver, Canadian Venture Exchange, or Salt Lake City.

Preferred Stock

A type of stock that pays a fixed dividend regardless of corporate earnings, and which has priority over common stock in the payment of dividends. However, it carries no voting rights, and should earnings rise significantly the preferred holder is stuck with the same fixed dividend while common holders collect more. The fixed income stream of preferred stock makes it similar in many ways to bonds.

Put Option

A contract that gives the holder the right to sell the underlying stock, to the writer of the put, at a specified price (the strike price) within a fixed period of time.

Registered Bond

A bond that is registered on the books of the issuing company in the name of the owner. It can be transferred only when endorsed by the registered owner.

Registrar

Usually a trust company or bank charged with the responsibility of keeping a record of the owners of a corporation's securities and preventing the issuance of more than the authorized amount.

Reverse Split A reduction in the number of a corporation's shares outstanding that increases the par value of its stock or its earnings per share. The market value of the total number of shares remains the same.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

A watch-dog agency created by the U.S. Congress to monitor the securities industry and enforce punishments of those that violate the industry's regulations.

Short Position

Stock options, or futures contracts sold short and not covered as of a particular date. On the NYSE, a tabulation is issued once a month listing all issues on the Exchange in which there was a short position of 5,000 or more shares and issues in which the short position had changed by 2,000 or more shares in the preceding month. Short position also means the total amount of stock an individual has sold short and has not covered, as of a particular date.

Stock Dividend

A dividend paid in securities rather than cash. The dividend may be additional shares of the issuing company, or in shares of another company (usually a subsidiary) held by the company.

Stock split An increase in the number of a corporation's outstanding shares that decreases the par value of its stock. The market value of the total number of shares remains the same. The division of a company's existing stock into more shares. In a 2-for-1 split, each stockholder would receive an additional share for each share formerly held.

S&P 500

A capitalization weighted index of 500 stocks. Standard and Poor's 500 index represents the price trend movements of the major common stock of U.S. public companies. It is used to measure the performance of the entire U.S. domestic stock market.

Tender Offer

A public offer to buy shares from existing stockholders of a company, usually made byanother company attempting an acquisition. So-called because stockholders are asked to "tender" (surrender) their holdings for a premium above the current market price.

Ticker Symbol

A three or four letter abbreviation used to identify a security whether on the floor, a TV screen, or a newspaper page. Ticker symbols are part of the lore of Wall Street. They were originally developed in the 1800s by telegraph operators to save bandwidth. One-letter symbols were therefore assigned to the most active stocks. Railroads were the dominant issues at the time, so they retain a majority of the one-letter designations.

Ticker symbols today are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Each marketplace -- the NYSE, the American Stock Exchange, and others -- allocates symbols for companies within its purview, working closely to avoid duplication. A symbol used for one company cannot be used forany other, even in a different marketplace.

 

Treasury Stock

Shares, formerly outstanding, that were repurchased by the issuing company. Companies often repurchase stock to benefit existing shareholders. Those who sell receive a premium price from the company for their shares, thus substituting a large capital gain for future dividends. This ploy is used when dividend taxes are higher than capital gains taxes. Remaining investors who keep their shares benefit from a tightened supply which raises the share price. Companies may later resell treasury stock, or retire it according to a shareholder vote.

Voting Right

The common stockholders' right to vote their stock in the affairs of a company. Preferred stock usually has the right to vote when preferred dividends are in default for a specified period. The right to vote may be delegated by the stockholder to another person.

Warrant A security that gives the holder the right to purchase securities from the issuer of the warrant at a specific price. Warrants are usually considered long-term instruments, expiration dates are typically years in the future.

Yield

In stocks and bonds, the amount of money returned to investors on their investments. Also known as rate of return.

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