Skip to content

Earnings Per Share EPS: What It Means and How to Calculate It

shares outstanding formula

Different ratios may use the basic number of outstanding shares, while others may use the diluted version. This can affect the numbers significantly and possibly change your attitude toward a particular investment. Furthermore, by identifying the number of restricted shares versus the number of shares in the float, investors can gauge the level of ownership and autonomy that insiders have within the company. All these scenarios are important for investors to understand before they make a decision to buy or sell. To calculate a company’s EPS, the balance sheet and income statement are used to find the period-end number of common shares, dividends paid on preferred stock (if any), and the net income or earnings. It is more accurate to use a weighted average number of common shares over the reporting term because the number of shares can change over time.

How Often Does a Company’s Number of Shares Outstanding Change?

shares outstanding formula

Analysts use variations of the basic EPS formula to avoid the most common ways that EPS may be inflated. The “Ending Shares Outstanding” represents the common share count on the first date of the quarter. If you’re interested in learning about common stock, you may also in learning about the best broker available for your needs, so visit our broker center to discover the possibilities. The weighted average is a mean value calculated by averaging each quantity against an assigned weighting to determine the relative importance of each quantity. While there seems to be an abundance of positive effects through a share repurchase program, there are still some things that businesses should keep in mind before implementing one.

Shares Outstanding in Financial Metrics

The two forms of shares outstanding—basic and diluted—are used to calculate market capitalization and earnings per share (EPS). This article will unpack these terms, illustrating their impact on financial health and corporate decision-making. accounting services for startups 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.


Do that by navigating to the company’s investor-relations webpage, find its financial reporting, and opening up its most recent 10-Q or 10-K filing. A company that announces a 2-1 stock split as of a certain date doubles its number of shares outstanding on that date. If that event occurs on, say, December 15th of the year, it can distort the company’s apparent number of shares outstanding for the year. Calculating the weighted average number of shares resolves the problem by taking into account the length of time that the changed number was in effect. The weighted average number of shares is determined by taking the number of outstanding shares and multiplying it by the percentage of the reporting period for which that number applies for each period.

shares outstanding formula

shares outstanding formula

Over the course of a reporting period—most often a fiscal year—the total number of common shares in circulation increases and decreases multiple times for most public companies. The calculation for common stock outstanding can seem a little daunting at first simply because there’s so much accounting jargon used to define and calculate it. And now that you’re equipped with this foundation of knowledge, all you need to do to figure it out is to go look it up on any company’s balance sheet in their 10-Q or 10-K filing. Let’s say that Helpful Fool Company has bought back 500 shares in this year’s buyback program. The company now has 5,000 authorized shares, 2,000 issued, 500 in treasury stock, and 1,500 outstanding.

Stock Splits and Their Impact on Shares Outstanding

  • At the start of the year, XYZ has 1 million shares outstanding and a share price of $10, giving it a market capitalization of $10 million.
  • 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.
  • Instead, investors will compare EPS with the share price of the stock to determine the value of earnings and how investors feel about future growth.
  • A portion of the earnings may be distributed as a dividend, but all or a portion of the EPS can be retained by the company.
  • For example, you can usually find the number of shares outstanding on investor relations webpages, which are only available for publicly listed companies or on stock exchanges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *