When talking about stocks. I am a bit confused with the term "Shares issued" and "Shares outstanding". Can someone please clarify me what is the difference?

Also I want to know where to find the amount of shares the company has in morningstar.co.uk I attached a picture of what I see in a balance sheet but I don't really know what in there actually tells me in how many shares this company is divided. Any idea?

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1 Answer 1


I am a bit confused with the term "Shares issued" and "Shares outstanding".

In most cases they are one and the same. Shares Outstanding are the total shares that are held by owners, promoters, employees, FI's, general public. The only exclusion is shares un-issued and held by company as Treasury shares.

Shares Issued are Shares Outstanding Plus the Shares company has purchased back; but not yet extinguished. These are again held as Treasury Shares.

For example a company was created with 100 shares. 10 were given to owner/promoter. After few rounds of investments, IPO's etc; 40 more shares are held by FI's, General Public etc.

At this point;

  • Shares Outstanding: 50
  • Shares Issued: 50
  • Shares held at Treasury: 50

Now if the company buys back 10 shares from market;

  • Shares Outstanding: 40
  • Shares Issued: 50
  • Total Shares at Treasury: 60
    • Shares held at Treasury - Un-Issued: 50
    • Shares held at Treasury - Issued: 10

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