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QuestionsCategory: Financials QuadrantTotal Outstanding Shares
The Twins asked 7 years ago

Hi there, I am new in investing. I have a questions, how could I retrieve historical data of total outstanding shares of a company? 
And also, is common stock = total outstanding shares?

3 Answers
Victor Chng answered 7 years ago

Common stock is not the outstanding shares. A common stock is a security that represents ownership in a corporation.
You can retrieve total outstanding share from all the historical annual report or you can use  paid services called shareinvestor.

Erastus Jonker answered 1 year ago

Is it a bad thing if a company has many shares outstanding? It would of course impact the Earnings per Share. I remember somewhere Victor mentioned the problem of share dilution for shareholders.

Victor Chng answered 1 year ago

Hi Eratus Jonker, 
It really depend how much the increase of share outstanding as compare to their earnings growth and also their percentage of dilution every year to their outstanding share. 
In general, we do prefer companies with no dilution but it does not mean company that have dilution is bad. We have to view company on a case by case basis. May be you can give an company example then we can expand from there so that you can get a clearer picture. 

Erastus Jonker replied 1 year ago

I see. So, I guess earnings growth should be determined factoring in EPS while keeping the eye on outstanding shares. I noticed a new spin-off like Organon started with 250M shares which I thought is unnecessarily high when compared to a stock like Tencent with only 9.5M (with an impressive sounding EPS of CNY10.8). Organon’s EPS would be much smaller just because of the number of outstanding shares. And a company like Evofem had 58M shares outstanding on 2020.06.30, but 125M by 2021.06.30. I guess, Evofem had to raise capital without taking on more debt (Debt to Equity 8.75:1).

Victor Chng replied 1 year ago

Hi Erastus Jonker,

You should not analyse number of shares based on the number of shares being issue like Organon having 250M shares vs Tencent 9.5M shares. The starting amount depend on how the management want to issue it and comparing it with other companies does not tell you anything.

Yes you should analyse like how you talk about Evofem’s share count increase from 58M to 125M. It does not seem like a good sign if they continue raise capital. It look like the company is not a cash generative type of business.