Issued Shares – Definition

Cite this article as:"Issued Shares – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated September 24, 2019, last accessed November 26, 2020,


Issued Shares Definition

Issued shares refer to the totality of a company’s shares that have been issued or allocated to the company’s shareholders, this number of shares are recorded in the company’s annual report. Issued shares are shares of a company that have been given to shareholders either as a form of compensation or during issuance of shares. Shares held by shareholders which comprises of investors, company insiders, institutional investors and the general public are issued shares. In certain cases, a company can buy back its shares issued to investors and keep as treasury shares. Shares that a company holds in its treasury stock or retired shares are not part of issued shares.

A Little More on What are Issued Shares

The number of shares that a company issues or allocates to its shareholders are recorded as capital stock or owner’s equity in the company’s balance sheet. When calculating market capitalization or when the financial statement of a company is being compiled, issued shares are important. A company’s outstanding shares are also recorded under capital in an annual report and listed when doing quarterly filings with the SEC.

The holdings or portion of the ownership of a company that shareholders maintain can be determined through the number of shares they hold. All issued and authorized shares of a company are used when calculating the ownership of a company. Issued shares are important when evaluating the ownership of a company, the shareholders of a company maintain a share of the company’s ownership. Investors or shareholders who were issued shares through a secondary offering or those that purchased shares when a company starts can claim a portion of the company’s ownership. Using the fully diluted calculation or method, a company’s ownership can be estimated.

References for “Issued Shares › Investing › Financial Analysis › Accounting › Shareholders Equity

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