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

Outstanding Shares

What it is:

Outstanding shares are common stock authorized by the company, issued, purchased and held by investors.

How it works (Example):

Outstanding shares may also be referred to as shares outstanding, or issued shares.

Outstanding shares include stock owned by the public as well as restricted shares owned by the company's officers and employees.  The number of outstanding shares is listed on a company's balance sheet as "Capital Stock" and is reported on the company's quarterly filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Why it Matters:

Outstanding shares are used in the calculation of market capitalization (outstanding shares multiplied by current share price) and earnings per share (EPS calculated as outstanding shares divided by earnings), two major measures of a company's value and performance used by investors.