Overcapitalization

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Overcapitalization'

When a company has issued more debt and equity than its assets are worth. An overcapitalized company might be paying more than it needs to in interest and dividends. Reducing debt, buying back shares and restructuring the company are possible solutions to this problem.


In the insurance market, overcapitalization occurs when supply exceeds demand, creating a soft market and causing insurance premiums to decline until the market stabilizes.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Overcapitalization'

The opposite of overcapitalization is undercapitalization, which occurs when a company has neither the cash flow nor the access to credit that it needs to finance its operations. Undercapitalization most commonly occurs in companies with high start-up costs, too much debt and/or insufficient cash flow and can ultimately lead to bankruptcy.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Watered Stock

    Stock that is issued with a value much greater than the value ...
  2. Undercapitalization

    When a company does not have sufficient capital to conduct normal ...
  3. Capitalization

    1. In accounting, it is where costs to acquire an asset are included ...
  4. Buyback

    The repurchase of outstanding shares (repurchase) by a company ...
  5. Market Capitalization

    The total dollar market value of all of a company's outstanding ...
  6. Overcollateralization - OC

    The process of posting more collateral than is needed to obtain ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What happens when a company buys back its shares?

    When a company performs a share buyback, there are a few things that the company can do with the securities they buy back. ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    How And Why Do Companies Pay Dividends?

    If a company decides to pay dividends, it will choose one of three approaches: residual, stability or hybrid policies. Which a company chooses can determine how profitable its dividend payments ...
  2. Investing

    A Breakdown Of Stock Buybacks

    Find out what these company programs achieve and what it means for stockholders.
  3. Options & Futures

    Dividends, Interest Rates And Their Effect On Stock Options

    Learn how analyzing these variables are crucial to knowing when to exercise early.
  4. Fundamental Analysis

    Why Dividends Matter

    Seven words that are music to investors' ears? "The dividend check is in the mail."
  5. Investing

    What's a Debit Note?

    A debit note is a document used by a seller to inform a purchaser of a dollar amount owed. As the name indicates, it is a note from the seller that a debit has been made to the purchaser’s account. ...
  6. Investing

    What's Capitalization?

    Capitalization has different meanings depending on the context.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    The Best 5 Online Accounting Systems For Small Business

    Running a small business can be difficult, but thanks to these online accounting services, taking care of payroll doesn't have to be.
  8. Investing

    Understanding Cost Accounting

    Cost accounting is the method of financially allocating expenses to goods that are manufactured for resale. Cost accounting is also referred to as managerial accounting, because managers use ...
  9. Investing

    What are Prepaid Expenses?

    A prepaid expense is an asset on the balance sheet. Due to accounting principles, expenses are often accrued on the balance sheet and expensed in a later period.
  10. Investing

    What's a Sunk Cost?

    A sunk cost was incurred in the past, is independent of future events and cannot be recouped. Economists teach that sunk costs should not be considered when making a financial decision. Rather, ...

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Fixed Cost

    A cost that does not change with an increase or decrease in the amount of goods or services produced. Fixed costs are expenses ...
  2. Subsidy

    A benefit given by the government to groups or individuals usually in the form of a cash payment or tax reduction. The subsidy ...
  3. Sunk Cost

    A cost that has already been incurred and thus cannot be recovered. A sunk cost differs from other, future costs that a business ...
  4. Technical Skills

    1. The knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related duties, as ...
  5. Prepaid Expense

    A type of asset that arises on a balance sheet as a result of business making payments for goods and services to be received ...
  6. Gordon Growth Model

    A model for determining the intrinsic value of a stock, based on a future series of dividends that grow at a constant rate. ...
Trading Center