Corporate Action

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DEFINITION of 'Corporate Action'

Any event that brings material change to a company and affects its stakeholders. This includes shareholders, both common and preferred, as well as bondholders. These events are generally approved by the company's board of directors; shareholders are permitted to vote on some events as well.

BREAKING DOWN 'Corporate Action'

Splits, dividends, mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs are all examples of corporate actions. For example, a company may decide to split its shares 2:1, leaving shareholders with twice as many shares as they had before. Bondholders are also subject to the effects of corporate actions, which might include calls or the issuance of new debt. For example, if interest rates fall sharply, a company may call in bonds and pay off existing bondholders, then issue new debt at the current lower interest rates.

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