DEFINITION of 'Eating Stock'
The forced purchase of a security when there are insufficient buyers. Eating stock often applies to underwriters of an initial public offering (IPO), if a certain level of subscription is guaranteed but is not met. This allows the company going public to have a better approximation for the amount of capital it will raise from the offering.
BREAKING DOWN 'Eating Stock'
Underwriters mitigate the risk associated with eating stock, in IPOs that it offers, by charging a substantial underwriting fee. Eating stock does not mean that the underwriter will take a loss on the entire venture, as the underwriting fee may exceed the cost of shares that it was forced to absorb.