DEFINITION of 'Preference Equity Redemption Cumulative Stock - PERCS'

A convertible preferred stock with an enhanced dividend that is limited in term and participation. Preference equity redemption cumulative stock (PERCS) shares can be converted for shares of common stock in the underlying company at maturity. If the underlying common shares are trading below the PERCS strike price, they will be exchanged at a rate of 1:1; but if the underlying commons are trading above the PERCS strike price, common shares are exchanged only up to the value of the strike price.


BREAKING DOWN 'Preference Equity Redemption Cumulative Stock - PERCS'

PERCS are essentially a covered call option structure, and are popular in an environment of declining yields because of the enhanced dividend. Upside profits are limited in order to produce a higher yield.

For example, if you own 10 PERCS with a strike price of $50, at maturity the following could happen:

-If, at maturity, the underlying asset was trading at $40, you would receive a total of 10 common shares, worth $40 each.

-If, at maturity, the underlying asset had doubled and was trading at $100, you would receive only five shares worth $100 each. The total value of the shares ($500) exchanged equals the strike price of $50 x 10 shares.

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