I am reading The Intelligent Investor, and the follow quote doesn't make total sense to me:
An industrial company’s finances are not conservative unless the common stock (at book value) represents at least half of the total capitalization, including all bank debt. For a railroad or public utility the figure should be at least 30%
First, I don't get what "common stock (at book value)" means. I know what common stock is, and I know what book value is. But what does the phrase "common stock at book value" mean?
Second, he talks about 'total capitalization'. I wasn't sure exactly what that was, and looked it up. Is this article the correct definition in context with this excerpt?
Another aspect of capitalization refers to the company's capital structure. Capitalization can refer to the book value of capital, which is the sum of a company's long-term debt, stock, and retained earnings.
The alternative to the book value is the market value. The market value of capital depends on the price of the company's stock. It is calculated by multiplying the price of the company’s shares by the number of shares outstanding in the market. If the total number of shares outstanding is 1 billion and the stock is currently priced at $10, the market capitalization is $10 billion. Companies with a high market capitalization are referred to as large caps; companies with medium market capitalization are referred to as mid caps; and companies with small capitalization are referred to as small caps.
It is possible to be overcapitalized or undercapitalized. Overcapitalization occurs when earnings are not enough to cover the cost of capital such as interest payments to bondholders, or dividend payments to shareholders. Undercapitalization occurs when there's no need for outside capital because profits are high and earnings were underestimated.
Source: Capitalization on Investopedia
If you want to see the full context of the section, it is page 122 of this version of The Intelligent Investor: https://www.e-reading.club/bookreader.php/133361/The_Intelligent_Investor.pdf
Thanks in advanced for any input!