Last Updated: Oct 10, 2022 Value Broking 8 Mins 1.6K

Offering stock to the public is a common approach for acquiring funds, but there are instances when a firm may desire to limit the amount of shares circulating on the open market. Every corporation has a legal limit on the number of shares it can issue. The absolute number of shares owned by investors, including the company’s officials and insiders (owners of restricted stock), is known as the shares outstanding out of this total. The number that is solely accessible to the general public for purchase and sell is called float.

Treasury stock definition: Treasury stock is, also known as reacquired stock at times, refers to the number of shares that a firm desires to keep for itself. It is either part of the float, which means the number of shares accessible for the general public to buy and sell, the shares outstanding before being repurchased, or it may not have been issued. 

The corporation can either keep it permanently, reissue it to the public, or cancel it altogether. The amount of treasury shares cannot, at any time, exceed the maximum proportion of total capitalization specified by the country’s legislation.

Treasury stock meaning: This stock is, also known as treasury shares, is the percentage of a company’s equity that it retains in its own treasury. It could have come from a portion of the float and outstanding shares before being repurchased by the corporation, or they could have never been offered to the public at all.

It refers to previously outstanding stock that the issuing business buys back from stockholders. As a result, the total number of open market shares available on the open market decreases. These shares were issued but are no longer outstanding and thus are not counted in dividend distributions or EPS calculations (Earnings Per Share).

What is the Treasury Stock Method?

The Treasury Stock Method is a technique to estimate the potential earnings per share (EPS) dilution that might occur when businesses provide their workers with stock options or convertible securities. It counts on these options or securities to be exercised or converted into common shares, and then it buys more common shares on the open market with the money made from doing so. The amount of shares bought back is then added to the stockholders’ equity to account for any possible EPS dilution.

What Happens to Treasury Stock?

When a company buys back its own stock, the shares are designated as “treasury stock” and are decommissioned. It isn’t particularly valuable by itself. These stocks have no voting rights and do not pay dividends.

However, in some cases, limiting outside ownership may benefit the business. Repurchasing shares also contributes to increased share price, giving investors an instant reward. A firm can keep its stocks indefinitely, reissue them to the public, or even cancel them.

It is frequently held to resell, acquire a controlling position in the firm, prevent hostile takeovers, prevent share undervaluation, and improve financial ratios such as the earnings per share ratio, the price-earnings ratio, and so on.

Accounting for Treasury Stock

Though investors may profit from a rise in share price, increasing it will actually hurt the company’s balance sheet, at least in the short run. Check out the following basic accounting calculation to understand why this is the case:

Assets – Liabilities =Stockholders Equity

The company has to pay for its own stock with an asset, lowering its equity by the same amount. Management may want to retire these shares permanently, or it may aim to hold them for resale or reissue later. Stock that has been repurchased is not eligible for voting and should not be included in publicly traded companies’ earnings per share computation. The purchase of stock by a firm and the resale of those shares are the two parts of accounting for this stock.

The Cost Method

The cost method is the most basic and extensively used approach for accounting for stock repurchases. The accounting covers the following topics.

  • Cost Method Stock Repurchase
  • Cost Method Stock Resale
  • Cost Method Stock Retirement

Constructive Retirement Method

The constructive retirement technique, which assumes that repurchased stock will not be reissued in the future, is an alternative method of accounting for treasury stock. You are essentially reversing the amount of the initial price at which the stock was sold using this method. The remaining purchase price is deducted from the retained earnings account.

Examples of Treasury Stocks

When considering purchasing stock in a firm, you should examine its balance sheet. When reviewing a balance sheet, you will see an entry called treasury stock under the shareholders’ equity column. The dollar amount of this stock indicated on the balance sheet refers to the cost of the shares issued by a company and then repurchased subsequently, either through a share repurchase program.

For example, XYZ Company initially sold 5,000 shares of common stock having a par value of $1 each for $41 per share. On its balance sheet, it had $5,000 in common stock (5,000 shares x $1 par value) and $200,000 in common stock APIC (Additional Paid-In Capital) {5,000 shares x ($41 – $1 paid in excess of par)}. XYZ Company has a cash surplus and believes its stock is trading at a discount to its real value. As a result, it chooses to repurchase 1,000 shares of stock for $50 each, for a total of $50,000.

A treasury stock contra equity account is created as a result of the repurchase. The treasury account would be debited for $50,000 and cash credited for $50,000 under the cash method. It would be debited for $1,000 (1,000 shares x $1 par value), common stock APIC would be debited for $49,000 {1,000 shares x ($50 buyback price – $1 par value)}, and cash would be credited for $50,000 under the par value method.

Issuance of Common Stock

Common stock is a type of stock that a corporation issues to raise funds rather than selling debt or issuing preferred stock. Ordinary shares are also called common stocks. When a firm issues common stock for the first time, it does so through an initial public offering, often known as an IPO. Following that, common stock is offered via secondary offering pricing. In this case, they increase the total number of outstanding shares in the markets for the general public to buy and sell. 

Issuing common stock allows the company to grow and achieve certain goals, such as increasing business offerings, purchasing another company, paying off debt, or raising additional funds for general commercial purposes. When a corporation issues common stock, it must keep in mind that it is essentially diluting the holdings of current shareholders, meaning a reduction in their ownership of the company. If a corporation declares bankruptcy, investors who purchased common stock will receive their money only after all creditors, bondholders, and preferred shareholders have received their portion.

Limitations Of Treasury Stocks

  • Market Conditions: Repurchasing shares in the open market may not always be feasible due to unfavourable market conditions or regulatory restrictions.

  • Timing Issues: Repurchasing shares might not align with the exercise or conversion of stock options or securities, leading to inaccuracies in the EPS calculation.

  • Impact on Financial Ratios: Holding treasury stock reduces equity and may negatively affect specific financial ratios, like return on equity.

  • Limited Influence on Stock Price: Large-scale treasury stock holdings may not significantly impact the company’s stock price or prevent dilution.


Treasury stock is the cost of shares repurchased by a company. When a company buys back stock, it may later resell it to raise cash, utilize it in an acquisition, or retire the shares. Different people believe that this stock should be carried on the balance sheet at its historical cost or at its current market value.

It is the same as the shares that are not offered to the general public on the open market; these shares diminish the share capital on the balance sheet and are reported as a negative number under the contra equity account. The strategy aids in the preservation of the price of the company’s undervalued shares, which usually results in hostile takeovers from competitors.

Reducing the number of outstanding shares can help with a range of essential purposes, such as avoiding unnecessary business takeovers and enabling other forms of employee remuneration. It is critical for an active investor to understand how the purchase of treasury shares affects key financial numbers and numerous balance-sheet line items.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This stock is a previously outstanding stock that the issuing firm buys back from stockholders. These shares were created but are no longer outstanding and therefore are not counted in the distribution of dividends or the calculation of earnings per share (EPS).

The float is the number that is solely accessible for purchase and sale by the general public.

Treasury shares are taxed according to the country’s accounting standards and tax legislation. Holding treasury shares often have no immediate tax repercussions. However, there can be tax repercussions if the business chooses to reissue treasury shares or sell them for a profit. A tax expert should be consulted if you want particular assistance.