Outstanding shares represent all of the shares that have been issued and owned by investors. Outstanding shares include both shares owned by institutional investors and those held by corporate insiders.
All of a company’s shares outstanding are used when calculating key size and performance metrics such as the market cap and net income.
Shares outstanding can be compared with float shares, which represent only the shares that are available to the public. To put it another way, float shares include all of a company’s shares except those that are somehow restricted and held by corporate insiders. Therefore, the number of float shares can be simply calculated by subtracting the restricted shares from all shares outstanding.
Just like other important metrics, companies report their shares outstanding data on a quarterly basis and in annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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