Issued Shares: Definition, Example, Vs Outstanding Shares

A share repurchase generates a higher income per share, making each share more valuable. The number of authorized shares can be substantially greater than the number of shares outstanding since authorized shares represent the maximum possible number of shares a company can issue. The outstanding number of shares may be either equal to or less than the number of authorized shares. For example, a company might authorize 10 million shares to be created for its IPO, but end up actually only issuing nine million of the shares. Investors may find it useful to compare a company’s floating stock to its outstanding shares when they’re making investment decisions. Authorized shares are those a company’s founders or board of directors (BofD) have approved in their corporate filing paperwork.

The articles of incorporation may authorize one share or millions of shares for a company that doesn’t have an authorized shares restriction. The number of shares that are available to trade is referred to as the float. The number of shares outstanding can fluctuate as the business issues more shares, repurchases some of them, and retires shares. In this case, XYZ has 16,000 outstanding shares (the treasury shares are not counted). Shares outstanding should not be confused with authorized capital, which refers to the maximum amount of shares a company is allowed to sell. The float, also called the free float or the public float, represents the subset of shares outstanding that are actually available to trade.

  1. Shares outstanding are useful for calculating many widely used measures of a company, like its market capitalization and earnings per share (EPS).
  2. Outstanding shares are the total number of shares that are held by shareholders.
  3. Although the two both relate to the number of shares a public company has issued, they are distinct from one another.
  4. Similarly, companies may repurchase their own stock, reducing the outstanding share count.
  5. This is for informational purposes only as StocksToTrade is not registered as a securities broker-dealer or an investment adviser.

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics what are outstanding shares and behavioral finance. Adam received his master’s in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology.

How to Calculate Outstanding Shares: Formulas

Financial lingo can be confusing, but it is nonetheless very important to grasp for those interested in investing in products like stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Many of the financial ratios used in the fundamental analysis include terms like outstanding shares and the float. Let’s go through the terms shares and float so that next time you come across them, you will know their significance. The buyback increases the market value of the existing shares in the open market. It also raises the company’s earnings per share figure (EPS) since earnings are divided by a smaller number of shares.

It’s used to calculate financial metrics

The first of these, unrestricted shares, is also known as “the float.” These are the shares that can be actively traded on the open market. Remember, the more shares outstanding a company has, the smaller ownership of the company each share represents. Reverse splits and share buybacks decrease the number of shares outstanding.

After that, investors may sell it to another investor on the secondary market. When companies buy back their own shares, the shares remain listed as issued, even though they are not classified as “treasury shares” because the company may resell them. For a small, closely held corporation, the original owners may hold all the issued shares. The fully diluted shares outstanding count includes diluting securities, such as convertibles, capital notes and warrants.

Options and warrants are one aspect of the difference between basic shares outstanding and diluted shares outstanding. Understanding how to calculate outstanding shares for a public company would appear to be a simple matter. Two different ways to analyze a company through its shares outstanding are earnings per share (EPS) and cash flow per share (CFPS).

Issued Shares vs. Outstanding Shares

The number of shares outstanding can (and usually does) fluctuate over time. The number of shares outstanding increases if a company sells more shares to the public, splits its stock, or employees redeem stock options. The number of shares outstanding decreases if the company buys back shares or a reverse stock split is completed. Knowing the number of outstanding shares is important for determining a company’s market capitalization (market cap), which measures a company’s total value.

So far, we’ve focused on shares outstanding, whether basic or diluted, at a fixed point in time. In SEC filings, companies will report the total number of shares outstanding on a given day, but in their quarterly and annual figures they must also offer the weighted average shares outstanding. Basic shares outstanding represent the actual number of shares outstanding during a period. Diluted shares outstanding include “dilutive” securities that could add to the share count — including options, warrants, and convertible debt. Shares outstanding are used to determine a company’s market capitalization, i.e. the total value of a company’s equity, or equity value.

Russell 2000 Futures

This tells you how much of that stock was issued but not how much there currently is. The larger stock market is made up of multiple sectors you may want to invest in. Our mission is to provide readers with accurate and unbiased information, and we have editorial standards in place to ensure that happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is accurate. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from our advertisers.

A company’s number of issued shares includes any shares the company has bought back and now holds in its treasury. The term “float” refers to the number of shares available to be traded by the public and excludes any shares held by company executives or the company’s treasury. No, float—short for floating stock or floating shares—can’t be higher than shares outstanding. It’s always a smaller figure because it only counts the number of shares available for investment and trading on financial exchanges.

When these are executed, the number of floating shares increases … and so does the number of shares outstanding. One important point to note is this exception to outstanding shares. Companies may provide executives with stock options that can be converted to shares. However, these stock benefits are not included in the tally of shares outstanding until shares are fully issued. A company may announce a stock split to increase the affordability of its shares and grow the number of investors. For instance, a 2-for-1 stock split reduces the price of the stock by 50%, but also increases the number of shares outstanding by 2x.

Those companies buy back and retire shares, instead of holding them in the treasury. In this way, the number of both issued and outstanding shares is reduced. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the company’s share price by its shares outstanding.


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