What are Outstanding Shares? The Motley Fool

how to calculate shares outstanding

These companies aggressively fund their growth by using convertible debt and paying employees with stock incentives. By contrast, many older stalwart companies are likely to have a number of shares outstanding that matches its number of shares fully diluted. Changes in shares outstanding over time also reveal how valuable shares are as a stake of ownership in the company, as the number of shares available directly affects this. The shares available to investors on the open market are commonly called the float. In general, stocks with low floats will experience more volatility than those with large floats. Shares outstanding is a financial number that represents all the shares of a company’s stock that shareholders, including investors and employees, currently own.

Outstanding vs. issued vs. float

It is a less-commonly used number in the financial reporting of privately-held businesses. As mentioned above, a company can acquire treasury shares through a share repurchase program. Essentially, treasury shares are the portion of the shares that a firm keeps in its treasury. These shares come from a share repurchase program, where the firm buys back shares from the public, or these are shares that were never issued to the public in the first place.

Share Repurchase Program

Stocks that have a smaller float are generally more volatile than stocks with a larger float due to their limited availability. Investors may demand more shares than are available, resulting in the price of the shares increasing. In this scenario, the company is trying to create an appearance of rapid growth in earnings per share to appear like a solid investment opportunity.

What is the Shares Outstanding Formula?

In the US, public companies are obligated to report their number of shares outstanding as part of the SEC’s filing requirements. A recent example of a reverse stock split is General Electric’s (GE) 1-for-8 reverse stock split during the summer of 2021. You can find shares outstanding at the top of a company’s 10-Q or 10-K filing. Importantly, the number of shares outstanding is dynamic and fluctuates over time. The shares companies issue are known as authorized shares, which are the maximum number of shares they are lawfully permitted to make available to investors.

The company has 4.32 billion authorized common shares, of which 3,119,843,000 have been issued as of December 31, 2014. How to calculate outstanding shares Of these terms, the two that you need in order to determine the number of outstanding shares are issued shares, and treasury shares. Alternatively, the total number of shares outstanding can be easily calculated as a company’s market capitalization divided by the current share price. Of course, merely increasing https://www.kelleysbookkeeping.com/differences-among-a-tax-id-employer-id-and-itin/ the number of outstanding shares is no guarantee of success; the company has to deliver consistent earnings growth as well. A company generally embarks on a reverse split or share consolidation to bring its share price into the minimum range necessary to satisfy exchange listing requirements. While the lower number of outstanding shares often hampers liquidity, it could also deter short sellers since it becomes more difficult to borrow shares for short sales.

They determined that reducing their share count from nearly 8.8 billion to roughly 1.1 billion better aligned with this vision (1). These statements are available on companies’ investor relations pages or the SEC website. Get instant access to lessons taught by experienced private equity pros and bulge bracket investment bankers including financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel Modeling.

Instead, the weighted average incorporates changes in the number of outstanding shares over a certain period of time. The formula for calculating the shares outstanding consists of subtracting the shares repurchased from the total shares issued to date. The number of shares outstanding increases when a company issues additional shares or when employees exercise stock options. Corporations raise money through an initial public offering (IPO) by exchanging equity stakes in the company for financing. An increase in the number of shares outstanding boosts liquidity but increases dilution. Before their availability on the secondary market, shares are authorized, issued, and, finally, purchased by investors who became equity owners or shareholders of the issuing company.

how to calculate shares outstanding

Company A has 10 million shares outstanding, of which 2 million are treasury shares. Once you know how to calculate the outstanding shares, you can use this number to calculate a number of valuation metrics, or measures of a company’s performance and future earnings potential. Once you locate the line item for preferred stock, take note of the total number of preferred shares outstanding. Preferred stock is a special class of shares that is generally considered a hybrid instrument, including properties of both a debt and equity instrument. Preferred stocks are higher ranking than common stock, but also subordinate to bonds in terms of claim, or rights to their share of the company’s assets.

A reverse stock split, also known as a share consolidation, is used to make the share price rise into the minimum range necessary to meet an exchange’s listing requirements. To calculate the weighted average of outstanding shares, multiply the number of outstanding shares per period by the proportion of the total time covered by each period. Then, add those terms together to get the weighted average number of outstanding shares.

  1. At the time, GE discussed plans to split into three companies and to divest from many businesses.
  2. By using existing cash, firms can purchase shares back more aggressively, decreasing their total outstanding shares and increasing earnings per share (EPS).
  3. Investors should also be wary when companies announce plans to buy back shares.
  4. There are still some places where you can find this information, other than the SEC’s website.

However, although the total number of such shares is increasing, the total dollar value of these shares remains constant because a stock split doesn’t change the value of a company. Now that you understand the basics of calculating outstanding shares, let’s take a look at some practical examples. Keep in mind that the process may differ slightly depending on the company and the availability of https://www.kelleysbookkeeping.com/ information, but these scenarios should give you a good idea of how to approach the calculation. The number of shares outstanding increases with the issue of new shares and stock split, while it decreases with share re-purchase and reverses split. At any moment in time, a corporation has a specific number of shares that it has authorized for sale, to individual or institutional investors.

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Outstanding shares represent a company’s shares that are held by investors, whether they’re individual, institutional, or insiders. Investors can find the total number of outstanding shares a company has on its balance sheet. Outstanding shares can also be used to calculate some key financial metrics, including a company’s market cap and its earnings per share.

A company’s outstanding shares may change over time because of several reasons. These include changes that take place because of stock splits and reverse stock splits. There are also considerations to a company’s outstanding shares if they’re blue chips. When calculating outstanding shares, it is important to also understand the concept of treasury shares.

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