Difference Between Stock and Share

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Stock and Share

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


The corporation can convert fully paid-up shares into stock under Section 61 of the Companies Act, 2013. A 'Share' is the smallest unit of the company's capital, and it reflects the shareholders' ownership. On the other hand, a 'Stock' is a collection of members paid up entirely shares. When shares are converted into stock, the shareholder becomes a stockholder who has the same rights as a shareholder in terms of dividends.

The shares all have the same denomination. However, the stock denomination varies. When it comes to investing in stocks, it's essential to understand the differences between shares and stock and the criteria under which shares are converted into stock. Please look at the post where we go over the whole notion of these two.

The term "stocks" is the more general and generic of the two. It's a term that's often used to refer to a piece of a company's ownership. However, "shares" has a more precise connotation in common usage: it frequently refers to a corporation's right.

As a result, if someone says she "owns shares," some people may respond by asking, "shares in what company?" For instance - An investor could order his broker to buy 100 XYZ Inc. shares. So he meant a large number of companies when he said he acquired 100 stocks—100 separate ones, to be accurate.

 "I own shares," for example, would elicit a more generic response, "Shares of what?" "What type of investment are you referring to?" Inverse ETFs, limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts, mutual funds, and other financial entities can all be used to invest.

On the other hand, stocks refer to corporate equities, which are securities that are traded on a stock exchange.

Stocks vs. Shares

Still confused? In the table below, you can see the fundamental differences between stocks and shares:

Meaning: Stocks allow you to own a piece of one or more firms. On the other hand, shares signify sole ownership of a single corporation.

Types: Stocks are divided into common stock and preferred stock. Investors can possess two classes of shares - common and preferred. Numeric Values, Private and Public: When you purchase stock in a firm, you are buying shares of that company's equity. The phrase stock is meaningless and might refer to one or many businesses. On the other hand, each share has a specific value and is linked to a single corporation.

Stocks are always fully paid up by definition, whereas shares are paid up in whole or in part.

Stocks can be divided into any amount, allowing them to be transferred infractions. However, it may not be possible to convert shares into fractional shares.

Denomination: When it comes to stocks, you can select several types of stocks with varying values. You might possess many shares of the same or equivalent value in the same business when it comes to stocks.

Difference Between Stock and Shares in Tabular Form

Let us not analyze the essential distinctions between the two terms shares and stocks after learning their basic meanings. A person's ownership in a corporation is represented through shares.

Category Stock Shares
Meaning Stocks represent the person's ownership or share in one or more companies. A person's ownership in a corporation is represented by their shares.
Original issue Stocks are not included in any company's initial offering. Instead, shares are changed to stocks after they are issued. Any company's initial public offering includes shares.
Nominal value There is no monetary value connected to stocks. Every share of the corporation is assigned a small amount of value.
Transfer A stock is a collection of shares. As a result, fractional transfers are conceivable. Alternatively, lesser servings. Infractions, on the other hand, cannot be transferred in lots.
Maximum number A person's portfolio can contain an unlimited number of stocks. Stocks might come from one or several companies. Therefore, the sky's the limit for investors when it comes to stock accumulation. When a corporation issues stock, it does so in a specific number. As a result, regardless of one's wealth, any individual can only possess a certain number of shares in a company (individual or not).
Paid-up value Only after shares are fully paid can they be converted to stocks. As a result, stocks are always completely paid. On the other hand, shares can be fully paid up or partly paid.
Types Stocks are divided into two types: common stock and preferred stock. Growth stocks, value stocks, income stocks, and blue-chip stocks are all types of stocks. A private firm or a public limited company can issue shares. Ordinary shares, sometimes known as equity shares and preference shares, are two types of shares. These shares can also be fully paid or partially paid.
Denomination An investor's stocks may belong to several firms and so have different denominations. A company's shares have the same denomination regardless of when they are issued. The only time the denomination of the shares changes is when the shares are split.

What are Shares?

Shares are the units into which a company's total share capital is divided or split. It is a proportion of an organization's share capital that also serves as the foundation for the company's ownership interest. Shareholders are individuals or groups who make a monetary contribution to the company in order to purchase shares. The Memorandum of Association specifies the amount of the company's authorized capital as well as the total number of shares that will be split. However, the company's Articles of Association prescribe the split of shares and specified obligations and privileges. According to the Companies Act, any company can issue the following two types of SHARES:

  • Preference shares (also known as preferred stock) have a dividend option that pays dividends to stockholders before equity shares. If the firm goes bankrupt, the members who own these preference shares are also entitled to be reimbursed from the company's assets. It's worth noting that most preference shares have the option of paying a fixed dividend, which is paid whether the company makes a profit or not. However, unlike equity shareholders, the owners of these shares do not have voting rights.
  • Equity shares (also known as ordinary shares) - The holders of equity shares (also known as ordinary shares) are the genuine proprietors of the company. On the other hand, they are not eligible for a fixed dividend and are only paid when a firm generates a profit. In addition, owners of equity shares have voting rights in the management selection process, giving them power over the organization's operations. Finally, equity shareholders receive a dividend only when the corporation has paid off its creditors and preference shareholders.

Specific Considerations

In American English, the terms stocks and shares are frequently used interchangeably. However, there are still substantial distinctions between the two names in different languages.

A share, for example, is the smallest unit in which a company's capital is divided. It denotes the company's shareholders' ownership. According to the country's Companies Act of 2013, you can partially pay it up. On the other hand, a stock is a group of fully paid-up shares that have been combined into a single fund.

Nature of a Share

  • A share is a right to a certain amount of a company's share capital, which comes with certain rights and liabilities both while the company is operating and when it is being wound up. (Halsbury's Laws of England) A share is a shareholder's interest in a corporation, measured in money, for the reasons of liability and interest in the first place, but also consisting of a series of mutual covenants agreed into by all the shareholders inter se. (1901) Borland's Trustee v. Steel Bros.
  • A share is a right to participate in the profits made by a company while it is a going concern and declares a dividend and in the assets of the company when it is wound up [Bacha Guzdar v. CIT 57 Bom. L.R. 617 (SC)].
  • A share is a collection of rights and obligations rather than a monetary value; it is a cash interest. The articles of incorporation govern these rights and obligations.
  • A share or other interest in a company is a movable property transferable in the way specified by the company's articles, according to Section 44 of the Companies Act.

What is Stock?

A stock is just a collection of a company's member shares in one lump sum. Stock is created when a member's shares are combined into a single fund. A publicly traded business with fully paid-up shares can convert them to stock. The original issue of stock, however, is not conceivable. To convert shares into stock, the following requirements must be met:

  • Such conversion should be specified in the articles of incorporation.
  • At the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM), an Ordinary Resolution (OR) should be passed.
  • Within the stipulated time, the company must notify the ROC (Registrar of Companies) of the conversion of shares into stock.

Following the conversion of shares to stock, each member's stock will be displayed in place of their shares in the company's register of members. However, there should be no changes to the members' voting rights. Furthermore, there is no impact on the transferability of stock. This is because they can now be transmitted fractionally instead. There are two categories of stock: common and preferred.

To further comprehend the notion of stocks, consider the example above.

Mr. X owns 100 shares of Company A out of a total of 1000 shares issued by the company. This signifies that Mr. X. owns 10% of the company's equity. Furthermore, if Mr. X owns 200 shares of Company B and the total number of shares is 4000, he owns 5% of Company B's stock. As a result, Mr. X's portfolio contains 10% stock of Company A and 5% stock of Company B.

Main Differences Between Stocks and Shares in Points

There are numerous distinctions between stocks and shares, as you can see. Consider the following critical distinctions between stocks and shares:

  • Stocks are either a collection of shares from many firms or a single company's shares.
  • Shares are the smallest unit of ownership that can be determined for any company or individual.
  • A stock is a grouping of things or a grouping of shares. Shares are a component of a larger entity, namely stocks.
  • Stock is a basic aggregate of shares in a firm, whereas shares signify the proportion of ownership in the company.
  • At par or at a premium, shares are issued. When a member's shares are combined into a single fund, it is referred to as stock. When a corporation is listed, its shares are effectively converted into stocks.
  • For example, if Mr. Anderson purchased Apple Inc. certificates, we will refer to these certificates as shares because Mr. Anderson purchased certificates from a certain corporation. On the other hand, if Mr. Anderson also owns certificates from several other companies, it can be assumed that he owns stock certificates rather than stock shares.
  • Stockholders may own one or more companies, whereas stockholders own only one.
  • Denomination: A stockholder may own two different stocks of different values; a stockholder may own several shares of the same or equal value in a single corporation.
  • Stocks can be issued at any moment by a company or companies in need of capital, whereas shares cannot.
  • Nominal value: Shares often have a nominal value, such as $5 per share, whereas stocks have no nominal value.
  • Shares have a fixed number known as a distinctive number, whereas stocks have not.
  • Stocks are always fully paid up by their very nature; shares can be fully paid up or partially paid up.
  • How much does one prefer the other: Stocks have a lesser preference for transfers because they cannot be infractions; shares have a higher preference since they can be transferred infractions.


Between share and stock, there is always a buzz. This page provides a detailed description that emphasizes the differences between them. In summary, shares are a small portion of the company's capital, whereas stock is a collection of shares held by a member. A limited company can convert shares into stock and vice versa under the Indian Companies Act, 2013. However, certain legal requirements must be completed before such a conversion can take place.


Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Stock and Share." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 26 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-stock-and-share-339>.

Edited by

Share this article