Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Issued Shares

What it is:

Issued shares are the number of shares owned by all shareholders of company.

How it works (Example):

For example, let's say that individual investors own 10,000,000 shares of Company XYZ stock. The executives, through their compensation program, own another 3,000,000 shares; institutional investors own 25,000,000 shares. The employee retirement plan also owns 4,000,000 shares. The sum of these holdings is 42,000,000 shares -- Company XYZ's issued shares.

Companies often report the number of shares issued in the notes to the shareholders' equity portion of the balance sheet.

Why it Matters:

Issued shares are not the same as authorized shares. The number of authorized shares is the number of shares a company is allowed to issue; issued shares are those the company has actually put into the market.

It is important to note that, as our example shows, issued shares go beyond just what institutional and retail investors own. Often, employees of the issuer also own shares, and those shares are included in the issued shares.