Treasury Stock

Treasury Stock Definition

The treasury stock definition is the shares a company buys of its own stock on the open market. Shares of treasury stock were issued by the company, and then repurchased. So consider it issued, but not outstanding. After a company repurchases shares of its own stock, there are fewer shares of its stock trading on the open market.

Treasury stock can either be retired (cancelled) or resold on the open market. In addition, the shares have no voting rights, and they do not pay or accrue dividends. It is not included in financial ratios that use the value of common stock.

Treasury Stock on the Balance Sheet

Record treasury stock in the owner’s equity section of the balance sheet. Then record it at cost – what the company paid to acquire the shares – and subtract the value of the treasury stock from the stockholders’ equity account. The treasury stock account is a contra-equity account.

Stock Buyback (Repurchase Shares; Buyback Shares)

There are several reasons why a company would repurchase its own shares, including the following.

1. A company might buyback shares if it considers its stock undervalued. If the stock is undervalued, then management might want to buy shares because they consider them cheap.

2. Fewer outstanding shares increase the value per share, so a company might buyback shares to benefit its shareholders. For tax reasons, a share buyback can be superior to paying dividends to shareholders. (Depending on the difference between the tax rate that applies to dividends and the tax rate that applies to capital gains.)

3. A company can also repurchase shares to exercise stock options or to convert convertible bonds.

4. You can use stock buyback to thwart a takeover – if a company buys its own stock, then that stock is no longer available to the potential acquirer.

5. A company can alter its debt-to-equity ratio by issuing bonds and using the proceeds to repurchase stock.

6. A stock buyback could also be a sign that the company has excess cash and no other viable investment opportunities.

Treasury Stock Definition

See Also:
Convertible Debt Instrument
Common Stock Definition
Reverse Stock Split
Preferred Stocks
Hedging Risk
Private Placement

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One Response to Treasury Stock

  1. Stacey October 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    If a company has Treasury Stock and declares Stock Dividends, do you subtract the amount of Treasury Stock from the Common Stock when calculating the Stock Dividends?

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