Understanding Face Value of Shares: Foundation of Stock Market Transactions

Are you an Indian investor stepping into the realm of stock market investments? As you embark on this financial journey, grasping the fundamental concepts is crucial. One such pivotal concept is the “Face Value of a Share.” In this comprehensive guide, we unravel the essence of face value, its significance, its formula, and its role in shaping your investment decisions.

At its core, the face value of a share signifies the nominal value assigned to it during its issuance. In the Indian stock market context, this value is depicted in rupees on the share certificate. When you contemplate buying or selling shares on an Indian stock exchange, this price acts as the cornerstone of your transaction.

Decoding the Face Value of a Share: Understanding The Concept of Face Value 

The inception of a share in the stock market marks the establishment of its face value. This value encapsulates the company’s net worth at the share’s price on its debut in the stock market. However, it’s important to note that the face value is distinct from the current market price. The disparity between these values stems from accrued interest (dividends) and broker charges that influence the trade.

Interestingly, the term “face value” is synonymous with “par value.” Historically, stockholders were paid this par value, often via a check. This practice gave rise to the term “stock” itself, originally referring to a “certificate demonstrating ownership of stock.”

Face Value of Share: Meaning Illustrated with an Example

The face value of a share signifies its starting point when introduced to the stock market. Consider a scenario where Company XYZ offers 1,000,000 shares to the public with an equity share capital of INR 10,00,00,000. Applying the formula, the face value per share is INR 10.

This INR 10 doesn’t necessarily reflect the share’s current market price but rather serves as a foundation for its introduction. It’s important to note that factors like accrued dividends, interest, and broker charges influence the actual trading price. The face value acts as a reference for the share’s initial cost during its entry into the market.

Face Value and Its Nexus to Worth: Exploring the Real Value

Contrary to popular belief, a share does not possess an intrinsic “face value.” In reality, the pivotal question revolves around its worth. Whether you’re purchasing, selling, or investing in shares, the crux lies in comprehending its value. The face value fails to offer substantial insights into these crucial investment facets. Instead, focus on gauging a share’s actual value, a pertinent consideration for making informed investment choices.

Face Value of Share Formula: Exploring the Equation

Understanding the face value of a share starts with a simple yet significant formula:

Face Value of a Share = Equity Share Capital / Outstanding Share Numbers

This formula breaks down the equity share capital of a company into individual shares. Dividing the total equity share capital by the number of outstanding shares provides the nominal value of each share. While the formula may seem straightforward, grasping its implications helps investors decipher the initial value of shares during issuance.

Importance of Face Value: Unveiling its Significance

While face value doesn’t dictate a share’s market price, its role is pivotal in financial calculations, valuation, and assessing a company’s net worth. This nominal value plays a crucial role in determining various financial metrics:

  1. Earnings Per Share (EPS): Calculated by dividing a company’s net earnings by its outstanding shares, EPS gauges profitability and earnings potential.
  2. Price-to-Earnings (P/E) Ratio: Derived by dividing a share’s market price by its EPS, the P/E ratio helps investors assess a share’s valuation in relation to earnings.
  3. Return on Equity (ROE): ROE measures a company’s profitability based on shareholders’ equity. It’s calculated by dividing net income by shareholders’ equity, where face value contributes to equity calculation.

Face Value vs Market Value: A Comparative Perspective

Face Value: This nominal value represents a share’s initial cost during issuance. It’s used for financial calculations and offers historical context.

Market Value: The market value is the real-time price at which a share is trading in the stock market. It’s influenced by market dynamics, performance, and demand.


  • Face value remains constant post-issuance and isn’t influenced by market fluctuations.
  • Market value fluctuates based on market conditions and investor sentiment.
  • Face value contributes to financial metrics like EPS, P/E ratio, and ROE.
  • Market value reflects a share’s current worth in the market, impacting trading decisions.

In essence, while face value provides historical context and aids in financial assessments, market value captures a share’s real-time market standing. Both values serve distinct purposes in understanding a company’s shares and contribute to comprehensive investment analysis.

Navigating the Role of Face Value for Investors

As an investor, how does the face value factor into your stock market journey? When you purchase shares, the rights granted to the buyer remain consistent with those of the initial owner. In cases of company downturns, shareholders might receive no returns. However, during stable periods, dividends become a reality, alongside the privilege to vote during shareholder meetings.

Your role as a shareholder involves assessing whether these benefits align with your financial aspirations. Dividends mirror the company’s post-expense and post-tax earnings while voting rights impact the company’s operational trajectory. Evaluating these factors vis-a-vis other investment options guides your decision-making.

Conclusion: Face Value’s Impression on Stock Market Choices

When a company issues shares, it sells ownership stakes to investors, granting them voting rights and dividend entitlements. Today, stock market offerings comprise common stock and preferred stock.

Common stock vests you with claims to a company’s assets and earnings. Positive market performance could pave the way for significant financial gains. However, adverse conditions might lead to investment losses.

Preferred stock, on the other hand, assures a fixed value and regular dividends. The company’s value and profits wield limited influence over preferred stock’s monetary returns.

For those seeking stock market exposure without the intricacies of individual stocks or mutual funds, index funds offer a viable alternative. Such mutual funds endeavor to mirror stock index performance, with options like Total Market Index Funds and Broad-based Index Funds.

FAQs | Face Value of a Share

What is the face value of a share with an example?

The face value of a share is its initial nominal value when introduced. For instance, if a company issues 1,000 shares with an equity share capital of INR 10,00,000, the face value per share is INR 100.

What does a face value of 10 to 1 mean?

When a company executes a 10 to 1 stock split, each existing share is divided into 10, resulting in shareholders owning 10 times more shares at a reduced face value. For instance, if you had 1 share at INR 100 face value, after the split, you would have 10 shares with a face value of INR 10 each.

What is face value in simple words?

The face value of a share is its original assigned value during issuance, serving as a starting point. It’s not indicative of its current market price but plays a role in financial metrics like EPS, P/E ratio, and ROE.

Why is face value important?

Face value is vital in financial calculations, helping compute metrics such as EPS and P/E ratio. It offers historical context about the share’s initial cost and contributes to understanding a company’s net worth.

What is the application of face value?

Face value aids in evaluating a share’s profitability and valuation. It’s used in EPS, P/E ratio, and ROE calculations, offering insights into a company’s financial performance.

Is high face value good?

A high face value doesn’t necessarily indicate better performance. It’s a nominal value and doesn’t impact a share’s market value or potential for growth. Factors like market dynamics and company performance influence a share’s worth.


Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks; read all the related documents carefully before investing.