Ordinary shares are shares that represent a normal equity ownership in a company. Ordinary shares also provide shareholders to receive dividends but this is at the discretion of the company.
Preference shares are shares that give preferential treatment over ordinary shares, as dividends are paid out to preference shareholders before dividends are paid to ordinary shareholders.
Cumulative / non-cumulative has no bearing on whether the dividend should be classified as a Liability or Equity:
Participating / non-participating: participating shares get an extra variable dividend based on profits:
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