What are Outstanding Shares with Examples?

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For any given corporation, the number of outstanding shares is equal to the total number of shares held by shareholders, less any repurchased stock by the company. On the liability side of the balance sheet, they are recorded as part of owners’ equity.

Company’s stock includes treasury shares held. Range: initial distribution to last repurchase. Treasury shares for emergencies, excluded from total. T-shares always fall when the treasury market rises, and never rise when the treasury market falls (and vice-versa).

What are Outstanding Shares?

The total number of shares of stock currently held by all of a company’s shareholders is known as its “shares outstanding.” Institutional investors own large blocks of shares, and firm insiders and officers have restricted shares. On the “Capital Stock” section of the balance sheet, the number of outstanding shares is recorded.

Financial metrics like market cap, EPS, and cash flow per share are all calculated in relation to the total number of shares of a company (CFPS). Instead, the number of a company’s shares might fluctuate greatly over time.


A variable number of shares may be issued, depending on the company’s activities. If a firm decides to increase its share capital by issuing new stock to the public or if it declares a stock split, both of these actions will increase the total number of outstanding stocks. However, it will decrease if the corporation conducts a reverse split or buys back its own shares.

Market capitalization, earnings per share, dividends, and voting rights are all calculated using the number of shares shown on the balance sheet. Outstanding share result from issued share plus sold shares, subtracting repurchased and managing partners’ owned shares .

How Does Outstanding Shares Functions?

Outstanding shares encompass all issued authorized shares excluding company-held treasury shares. A stock’s “shares outstanding” refers to the total number of its shares currently available for trading. The inclusion encompasses shares held by institutional investors, along with restricted shares held by insiders and corporate officers.

In addition, there are a variety of factors that might affect the number of outstanding shares of a firm. The total number of shares could go higher if the corporation decides to issue more. Equity financing, stock option exercises, and instruments lead to share issuance. Corporation can decrease outstanding shares via repurchases.

Outstanding Shares Formula

Shares in circulation equal total issued shares minus company’s treasury holdings. Although, the float plus restricted shares is the same thing. “Float” denotes public-purchasable shares, excluding restricted and insider shares.

Assume, for the sake of argument, that a corporation distributes 1,000 shares. Total issued shares: 800 – 600 “floating,” 200 “restricted,” 200 “treasury.” 800 shares issued, 200 in treasury in this instance.

Example of Outstanding Shares

In the retail sector, Company A is unrivalled when it comes to selling timepieces. The IPO resulted in the distribution of 25,800 shares to investors, the issuance of 2,000 shares to each of the two management partners, and the retention of 5,500 shares by the company. Alex wants to know the company’s current market value and earnings per share. Methods for counting how many shares remain in circulation are as follows.

Total shares issued (25,800 minus 5,500 plus (two times) 2,000) equals 16,300 after accounting for treasury and restricted shares. Currently, a share of the company’s stock can be purchased for $35.65. The current market price of the company is $581,095 based on 16,300 shares multiplied by $35.65. Last quarter, the firm reported a net profit of $12,000. Earnings per share for the corporation are therefore $0.77, or $12,50 divided by 16,300 shares outstanding.

The company’s leadership has decided to repurchase 1,000 shares in two months. Shares are currently selling for $36.88. Thus, the number of share issued and outstanding is equal to 15,300 (16,300 minus 1,000). Taking 15,300 shares times $36.88 gives you $564,264 in market cap. EPS = $12,500 / 15,300 = 0.82. Keep in mind that the increase in EPS is $6.54 per 1,000 shares sold.

Categorize of Outstanding Shares

Shares, authorized and issued after investor purchase, enable equity ownership through trading. Common stockholders elect the board and join annual meetings. Let’s discuss the various stock options available.

Division of Stocks

“Diluted shares” are the total outstanding shares that holders can convert to “ordinary shares” (convertible bond, convertible preferred stock, employee stock options) at a specific time. So, you can accomplish this by exercising your option to convert the restricted shares into regularly traded shares. click here

Stocks and Shares

At present, stocks match basic shares. Yet, fully diluted shares consider potential stock options, capital notes, and warrants. In other words, fully diluted outstanding share show the potential maximum.

Warrants are paper permissions for additional stock purchases from the corporation. Converting warrants to shares raises outstanding shares, lowering treasury shares. To illustrate, suppose XYZ distributes 100 warrants. If warrants are all exercised, XYZ must sell 100 shares from its existing stock.

Permitted Shares

Outstanding shares can surpass allowed shares, as they’re the corporation’s issuance limit. The actual number of outstanding shares may be greater than or equal to the maximum number of authorised shares. A firm may approve the creation of 10 million shares for its first public offering (IPO), but issue only 9 million of those shares.

Plans for Repurchase of Shares

A corporation may initiate a stock repurchase programme if it determines the price of its stock is too low. The corporation may choose to lower the number of existing shares by repurchasing (buying back) shares and removing them from circulation in order to increase the market value of the remaining shares and the total earnings per share.

By buying back shares, shareholders can prevent further dilutive effects from employee stock option and equity grant programmes in the future. When a company has a lot of cash on hand, it can use that money to buy back shares of stock, so reducing the number of shares outstanding and perhaps improving earnings per share.

Incorporating and Combining Shares

The total number of outstanding shares of stock will increase or decrease, depending on whether or not the corporation does a stock split or a reverse stock split. Increased stock liquidity is another benefit of a larger number of outstanding shares. However, in order to meet the minimum range required by exchange listing criteria, a firm may reverse split or consolidate its shares. Short sellers deterred by fewer outstanding shares; borrowing for shorts harder.

If a corporation wants to attract additional investors, it may announce a stock split to lower the price of its shares. A 2-for-1 stock split would result in a 50% drop in stock price and a 100% increase in the number of shares.

Float Differs from Outstanding Shares

There is a more nuanced way to examine a company’s stock, and that is to look at its floating stock. Closely held shares, such as those held by corporate insiders or other influential investors, are not included. Common examples of such investors are firm executives and board members, as well as corporate foundations.

Difference Between Issued and Outstanding Shares

The issued shares differ from the authorized shares in a corporation. However, equities that are “outstanding” are those that are currently trading. The McDonald’s example can help us understand this. Here, we can observe that Authorized Common Shares total 3.5 billion. However, there are currently only 1.66 billion shares in circulation.

The number of shares in circulation is technically limited. Firms often allow issuing more shares than they have, due to efficiency. If a company exhausts its authorized shares and needs more later, it must authorize additional shares. This involves filing paperwork, board approval, and shareholder agreement, incurring expenses. Yet, if a corporation has extra authorized shares, they can be issued with less effort, often approved by the board. The board of directors safeguards shareholders’ rights and oversees the company’s objectives.

Comparing Outstanding and Weighted Average Shares

If they wish to construct portfolios that perform as expected, investors need to understand the distinction between weighted average shares and shares outstanding. These two figures together reveal an organization’s long-term success.

Weighted-Average Shares

During a reporting period, the number of outstanding shares may fluctuate, so it is important to calculate a weighted average of the outstanding shares to account for these fluctuations. The typical long-term investor holds a stock stake for several years. Keeping track of how much each share of stock originally cost is important because stock values fluctuate daily. Calculate stock’s weighted average purchase price by summing purchase prices and dividing by total shares bought.

Weighted average is a standardized central measure by arithmetic mean, considering individual number importance. Multiply shares outstanding by proportion in reporting for weighted average shares outstanding. To put it another way, the formula takes into account the number of shares outstanding during each month and divides it by the total number of months that those shares have been in circulation.

Rewarding Success Distribution

In financial parlance, outstanding shares are the number of shares that are still owned by investors. It also covers restricted shares held by company officers and other insiders, as well as publicly traded shares. If a corporation issues new shares, repurchases existing ones, or converts employee stock options into shares, the total number of outstanding shares will change.


Shares outstanding represent the total number of shares of stock currently held by shareholders. Institutional investors own large blocks of stock, and corporate insiders and officers have restricted stock. Therefore, there is no universally accepted method for keeping track of a company’s total number of shares, and that number can fluctuate greatly over time. Explore the money market topic from a historical perspective with this engaging post.

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