how to calculate outstanding shares

A stock split is when a company increases the number of shares outstanding by issuing additional shares to current shareholders. For example, a 2-for-1 stock split would double the number of outstanding shares while halving the price per share. When calculating outstanding shares after a stock split, simply multiply the old number of outstanding shares by the split ratio. The number of shares of common stock outstanding is a metric that tells us how many shares of a company are currently owned by investors. This can often be found in a company’s financial statements, but is not always readily available — rather, you may see terms like “issued shares” and “treasury shares” instead. Besides, it can be helpful to understand where the numbers you’re looking at came from.

how to calculate outstanding shares

Reverse Stock Split

Calculating the number of outstanding shares a company has can help you to understand what proportion of a company’s stock is held by its shareholders. This, in turn, tells you which investors hold the largest numbers of shares, and therefore have the most influence at shareholder meetings. This number is also used to calculate several key financial metrics, so it’s important to understand how to calculate outstanding shares.

Stock Splits

The number of shares that are available to trade is referred to as the float. There’s no limit to the total number of shares that can be authorized within these documents for a large company. But smaller companies that don’t plan to expand or that have a set number of shareholders are limited as to the number of authorized shares they can designate. So when a company has 1 million shares outstanding, but only 650,000 are available to the public, the float is either 650,000 or 65% of the total shares outstanding. Another reason a company might want to repurchase shares is to eliminate shareholder dilution from future employee stock options or equity grants.

Example calculation

A publicly-traded company can directly influence how many shares it has outstanding. At the time, GE discussed plans to split into three companies and to divest from many businesses. They determined that reducing their share count from nearly 8.8 billion to roughly 1.1 billion better aligned with this vision (1). Understanding stock market terminology allows investors to make appropriate, intelligent, investment-related decisions.

Add the Preferred and Common Stock, Then Subtract the Treasury Shares

Here, the balance sheet reports 8,019 million shares issued and 3,901 million treasury shares, as of September 30, 2022. John, as an investor, would like to calculate the company’s market capitalization and its earnings per share. The number of authorized shares can be substantially greater than the number of shares outstanding since what kind of account is sales discounts forfeited 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 need to know the float in times like a potential short squeeze to make accurate, well-informed decisions. The reporting period usually parallels the date the company submits quarterly and annual reports. Whatever method you use to gather this information will always be readily available online or easy to calculate, allowing for better investment decisions. Let’s take an example to understand the calculation of Shares Outstanding in a better manner. Get instant access to video lessons taught by experienced investment bankers. Learn financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel shortcuts.

Repurchasing shares is a more straightforward process for companies with large cash reserves. By using existing cash, firms can purchase shares back more aggressively, decreasing their total outstanding shares and increasing earnings per share (EPS). Using the weighted average method to calculate outstanding shares is consistently accurate, even when the amount of shares changes over time. This means that every share investors held before the split will now have double or triple the number of shares. As an investor, finding out a company’s number of outstanding shares could be a key piece of information when considering investing in the company.

It also raises the company’s earnings per share figure (EPS) since earnings are divided by a smaller number of shares. A share repurchase generates a higher income per share, making each share more valuable. Outstanding shares are the aggregate number of shares that a corporation has issued to investors. This is an important number, since it is used to calculate the earnings per share of a publicly-held business.

However, it is important to double-check that the number only includes shares that have actually been issued by the company. The total number of issued and treasury stock includes both common and preferred stock available in the company balance sheet. For example, let’s say you want to calculate the weighted average number of outstanding shares for a company over two reporting periods of 6 months each. In the first 6-month reporting period, the company has 100,000 shares outstanding. In the second 6-month period, the company’s number of shares outstanding is 150,000.

how to calculate outstanding shares

Generally speaking, stocks with smaller floats will experience more volatility than those with larger floats. 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. As a result, the company may initiate a repurchase program to buy back some of its stock.

  1. This number is also used to calculate several key financial metrics, so it’s important to understand how to calculate outstanding shares.
  2. Outstanding shares include share blocks held by institutional investors and restricted shares owned by the company’s officers and insiders.
  3. The term shares outstanding is defined as the total number of shares a company has issued to date, after subtracting the number of shares repurchased.
  4. Another metric calculated using shares outstanding is the price-to-book (P/B) ratio.
  5. There are still some places where you can find this information, other than the SEC’s website.

Of course, merely increasing the number of outstanding shares is no guarantee of success; the company has to deliver consistent earnings growth as well. The number of shares outstanding increases whenever a company undertakes a stock split. Stock splits are usually undertaken to bring the share price of a company within the buying range of retail investors; the increase in the number of outstanding shares also improves liquidity. 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.

The total number of shares issued is the sum of all shares that a company has issued to investors, including those held by shareholders, insiders, and institutions. Treasury shares, on the other hand, are shares that a company has repurchased from the open market or bought back from shareholders and are held by the company itself. Subtracting treasury shares from the total number of shares issued gives the number of outstanding shares. As a real-world example, here is some information from Johnson & Johnson’s 2014 year-end balance sheet. The company has 4.32 billion authorized common shares, of which 3,119,843,000 have been issued as of December 31, 2014.

Understanding a company’s outstanding shares is a crucial element in determining its value and equity structure. It’s important to note the impact of stock splits and stock dividends on outstanding shares and adjust the calculation accordingly. A stock split occurs when a company increases its shares outstanding without changing its market cap or value. 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.

For example, the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio calculates how much investors are paying for $1 of a company’s earnings by dividing the company’s share price by its EPS. Two different ways to analyze a company through its shares outstanding are earnings per share (EPS) and cash flow per share (CFPS). The term shares outstanding is defined as the total number of shares a company has issued to date, after subtracting the number of shares repurchased.

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