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Issued Shares vs. Outstanding Shares: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Issued shares are all shares distributed by a company, while outstanding shares are those currently held by investors excluding treasury shares.
Issued Shares vs. Outstanding Shares

Key Differences

Issued shares refer to the total number of shares that a company has ever issued. This encompasses all shares that the company has sold or distributed. In contrast, outstanding shares represent the subset of issued shares that are currently held by investors, excluding any shares bought back by the company.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 09, 2023
When a company repurchases its shares, these become treasury shares and are subtracted from the issued shares to calculate the outstanding shares. This means that while the number of issued shares remains constant, the number of outstanding shares can decrease if the company buys back its shares.
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Issued shares include both publicly traded shares and restricted stock held by insiders. Outstanding shares, however, are primarily the shares available in the public market for trading and exclude shares held by the company itself.
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The total number of issued shares is a static figure, reflecting the cumulative history of a company's share issuance. The number of outstanding shares is more dynamic, reflecting current market conditions and corporate decisions like share buybacks.
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Dividends are often calculated based on the number of outstanding shares. Therefore, while issued shares indicate the potential scope of a company's equity distribution, outstanding shares provide a more precise basis for calculating per-share dividends.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Total shares distributed by a company
Shares held by all shareholders
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Part of Speech

Noun (plural)
Noun (plural)
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Pronunciation

/ˈɪʃuːd ʃɛərz/
/aʊtˈstændɪŋ ʃɛərz/
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Usage in Sentences

Often mentioned in corporate reports
Frequently referenced in financial analysis
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Relation to Company Value

Reflects potential equity distribution
Indicates actual equity in circulation
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Issued Shares and Outstanding Shares Definitions

Issued Shares

Issued shares are the total number of shares a company has distributed.
The corporation's total issued shares amount to two million.
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Outstanding Shares

Outstanding shares represent the actual equity available for trading.
Investors often assess a company's value based on its outstanding shares.
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Issued Shares

Issued shares encompass all types of shares a company has released.
The issued shares include both common and preferred stock.
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Outstanding Shares

Outstanding shares fluctuate with buybacks and new share issuance.
The outstanding shares increased after the recent stock offering.
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Issued Shares

Issued shares can include shares not available for public trading.
A portion of the company's issued shares is held by the founding members.
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Outstanding Shares

Outstanding shares exclude treasury shares held by the company itself.
After the buyback, the number of outstanding shares decreased.
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Issued Shares

Issued shares represent a company's equity distributed to shareholders.
Upon IPO, the company's issued shares were quickly bought by investors.
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Outstanding Shares

Outstanding shares are used to calculate earnings per share.
The earnings per share were calculated based on the outstanding shares.
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Issued Shares

Issued shares are a static figure reflecting a company's share history.
The annual report detailed the number of issued shares since inception.
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Outstanding Shares

Outstanding shares are the shares of a company held by investors.
The company's outstanding shares are valued highly in the market.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What are outstanding shares?

These are shares currently held by all shareholders, excluding treasury shares.
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Do outstanding shares fluctuate?

Yes, they change with share buybacks or additional issuances.
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What are issued shares?

They are the total shares a company has distributed to shareholders.
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How are dividends affected by outstanding shares?

Dividends are usually paid based on the number of outstanding shares.
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Is it possible for issued and outstanding shares to be equal?

Yes, if there are no treasury shares, they can be equal.
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How do issued shares differ from outstanding shares?

Issued shares include all shares ever issued, while outstanding shares are those currently in circulation.
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Do treasury shares count as outstanding shares?

No, treasury shares are excluded from outstanding shares.
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Can issued shares number change?

Generally, it remains constant unless new shares are issued.
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How does the issuance of new shares impact outstanding shares?

It increases the number of outstanding shares.
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Do investors prefer more issued shares or outstanding shares?

Preferences vary, but more outstanding shares can dilute shareholder value.
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How does a buyback affect outstanding shares?

It reduces the number of outstanding shares.
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What happens to issued shares when a company buys back stock?

The number of issued shares stays the same, but treasury stock increases.
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Are outstanding shares used in calculating market capitalization?

Yes, market cap is calculated using the number of outstanding shares.
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Do issued shares include restricted stock?

Yes, they include all types of shares, including restricted stock.
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Do issued shares affect voting rights?

Yes, each issued share typically carries voting rights.
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Can outstanding shares give an insight into company’s liquidity?

Yes, they can provide insights into the stock’s liquidity in the market.
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Can a company have more outstanding shares than issued shares?

No, outstanding shares can never exceed issued shares.
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Are all issued shares publicly traded?

Not necessarily; some may be restricted or held by insiders.
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How does share repurchase impact shareholder value?

It can increase the value of remaining outstanding shares.
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Are outstanding shares relevant for earnings per share calculation?

Yes, they are used to calculate earnings per share (EPS).
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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