two types of classified common stock
. While both share classes carry the same rights to profits and ownership of the company issuing them, the difference lies in voting rights. Typically, Class A shares have more votes per share than Class B shares, are issued only to company executives and certain large shareholders, and are not available for trading. The purpose of these shares is to provide management greater voting rights in order to have more control over corporate actions (stock splits, mergers, takeovers, etc.) and board elections. Typically, Class B shares are those sold to public investors, have one vote per share and are available for trading in the marketplace. Ultimately, however, the rights of Class A vs. Class B shareholders are determined by a company's charter and/or bylaws.