Shares are registered or bearer securities that certify participation in a corporation, especially the stock corporation, and grant the shareholder certain rights; Above all, the right to (co) vote on important company decisions and the right to receive distributions of profits as dividends.
Aktien verbriefen die mit der Übernahme eines Anteils am Grundkapital einer Aktiengesellschaft oder einer Limited partnership based on shares (seit neuem sind GmbH, KGaA und GmbH & Co. KGaA möglich) verbundenen Rechte. Je nach Ausgestaltung kommen diese Rechte dem Inhaber (Inhaberaktien) oder dem mit Namen, Wohnort und Beruf in das Aktienregister der Gesellschaft eingetragenen Berechtigten (Namensaktie) zu.
Die Eintragung erlaubt eine Kontrolle des Aktionärskreises, die (was praktisch am deutschen Capital market kaum verbreitet ist) soweit gehen kann, daß die Übertragung von Aktien an eine Genehmigung gebunden ist (vinkulierte Namensaktie, Aktionärsbindungsvertrag).
Basically, the share is associated with the entitlement to a share in the profit (dividend) and, if applicable, in the liquidation proceeds, as well as the right to vote and information at the general meeting. Statutory general meeting authority exists with regard to the appointment of the supervisory board and auditor, discharge of the supervisory board and management board, use of the balance sheet profit and amendments to the articles of association.
While these rights are generally associated with all ordinary shares, preference shares or participation certificates have a restriction on voting rights. In return, certain privileges are granted in the distribution of profits (minimum dividend, catch-up entitlements): In cases in which the statutory preferred amount cannot be paid out in one year and both the arrears and the full preferred amount cannot be distributed in the following year, live with this year The right to vote.
The spread of the shares is important for the value of the company. Research has given particular attention to the influence of large shareholders and the relationship between large and small shareholders. Today, under the motto "one share, one vote" (one share, one vote), there is an international trend towards one share. In Germany, for example, multiple voting rights or voting right restrictions have become inadmissible as part of the recent reform of stock corporation law (KonTraG).
Another potential value management parameter that is occasionally discussed relates to the number or severity of the shares in circulation. An attempt is often made to increase tradability (liquidity) by dividing shares.
Furthermore, the volume of the outstanding share capital is no longer restricted below. If there is a lack of valuable investment opportunities, the company may, under certain conditions that ensure creditor protection, buy back its own shares.