What Are Shares Outstanding?

Patrick Curtis

Reviewed by

Patrick Curtis WSO Editorial Board

Expertise: Investment Banking | Private Equity

Shares Outstanding is a term found on the Income Statement of a company and it refers to the number of shares currently held by investors. Shares Outstanding can either be Diluted (including potential share creation through options and convertible bonds) or Basic (the actual number of shares held by investors). If the company participates in a share buyback, these shares are removed from the calculation of Shares Outstanding (as are any shares the company holds).

Shares Outstanding is used to calculate Equity Value, Earnings Per Share, Book Value per Share and more.

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Patrick Curtis

Patrick Curtis is a member of WSO Editorial Board which helps ensure the accuracy of content across top articles on Wall Street Oasis. He has experience in investment banking at Rothschild and private equity at Tailwind Capital along with an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. He is also the founder and current CEO of Wall Street Oasis. This content was originally created by member WallStreetOasis.com and has evolved with the help of our mentors.