Issued vs Outstanding Shares: What Is The Difference?

Issued vs Outstanding Shares

Issued shares refer to the total number of shares that a company has issued to shareholders, including shares held by the company's officers and directors. These shares have been authorized by the company's board of directors and have been issued in exchange for cash, services or other assets.

Outstanding shares, on the other hand, refer to the total number of shares that are currently held by shareholders, including both common and preferred shares. These shares have been issued and are in circulation, and they are available for trading on the open market.

Here is an example table:

Issued Shares Outstanding Shares
A 100,000 80,000
B 50,000 40,000

Company A has issued 100,000 shares, but 20,000 of those shares are held by the company's officers and directors, leaving 80,000 outstanding shares that are held by shareholders and available for trading. Similarly, Company B has issued 50,000 shares, but 10,000 of those shares are held by the company's officers and directors, leaving 40,000 outstanding shares that are held by shareholders and available for trading.

It's worth noting that issued shares can be greater than outstanding shares, if a company has bought back shares or if shares have been cancelled. Additionally, the difference between issued and outstanding shares can also be used to calculate the number of treasury shares a company holds.

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