The term "par value" has several meanings depending on context and geography.
Most common stocks issued today do not have par values; those that do (usually only in jurisdictions where par values are required by law) have extremely low par values (often the smallest unit of currency commonly used), for example a penny par value on a stock issued at USD$25/share. Most states do not allow a company to issue stock below par value.
No-par stocks have no par value printed on its certificates. Instead of par value, some U.S. states allow no-par stocks to have a stated value, set by the board of directors of the corporation, which serves the same purpose as par value in setting the minimum legal capital that the corporation must have after paying any dividends or buying back its stock.
Also, par value still matters for a callable common stock: the call price is usually either par value or a small fixed percentage over par value.
In the United States, it is legal for a corporation to issue "watered" shares below par value. However, the purchasers of "watered" shares incur an accounting liability to the corporation for the difference between the par value and the price they paid. Today, in many jurisdictions, par values are no longer required for common stocks.
Only the market for Treasury securities still prices using thirty-seconds of a dollar. All other markets use decimal notation.
The practice of pricing in price per hundreds largely grew out of the practice of pricing British government bonds, which were (and still are today) denominated in units of 100 pounds Sterling. These notes, originally sold in physical form having gilt-edges and therefore known as "Gilts", are priced in similar form as US debt instruments, but are priced relative to their face value of 100 pounds Sterling. There is no subsequent shift of the decimal point applied in the pricing of such debt instruments as in the US. In the United Kingdom bond markets, par value is when the price per 100 Pounds Sterling note or bond is equal to the face value.
A par value of 100.00 for a note or bond means only that the note or bond is selling for the face value paid upon maturity of the note or bond. It can (and does) have different absolute values per Note or Bond depending on the conventions of the particular market and country in which such par value is quoted
Sabbatiniswing agony; I played awful, says Rory who ties Els on 21-over-par total.(Monday Sports Supplement)
Jun 18, 2007; BYLINE: Peter Bills Rory Sabbatini dragged himself away from Oakmont last night, a shocking 21-over par score in his bag for the...