Large Cap

What it is:

Generally speaking, large cap companies have at least $8 billion of market capitalization.

How it works/Example:

Market capitalization refers to the value of a company's outstanding shares. The formula for market capitalization is:

Market Capitalization = Current Stock Price x Shares Outstanding

It is important to note that market cap is not the same as equity value, nor is it equal to a company's debt plus its shareholders' equity (although that too is sometimes referred to as simply the company's capitalization).

Let's assume Company XYZ has 10 million shares outstanding and the current share price is $9. Based on this information and the formula above, we can calculate that Company XYZ's market capitalization is 100 million x $90 = $9 billion. Company XYZ is a large cap stock.

Why it Matters:

Many investors regard large cap stocks as more mature and more stable. Accordingly, they are often attractive to conservative investors and income investors. However, capitalization reflects the theoretical value of a company, not what the company could be purchased for in a normal merger transaction. One reason for this is that the value of material nonpublic information, management changes, operating synergies between the acquirer and the company, and other intangible factors may not be reflected in the stock price or the financial statements.

Best execution refers to the imperative that a broker, market maker, or other agent acting on behalf of an investor is obligated to execute the investor's order in a way that is most advantageous to the investor rather than the agent.