I was looking at a stock recently, Gamestop GME, and noticed that the float was currently sitting at 250million shares.


This seems like potentially a bug/issue, because the other sites are not reporting a float anywhere close to this number, and also the other values which are %'s, do not reflect the 250mil.

But, in checking other sources, they are vastly different than what Yahoo financed showed before today (around 70 million).

What factors can alter/change a stocks total float of shares?

  • Looks like a bug - free float can't be greater than shares outstanding.
    – David
    Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 13:57
  • 1
    It’s still at 250 million and is increasing in value, seems like a strange bug. Could the float be higher with naked shorting? Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


This appears to have been an error and has been fixed on Yahoo! Finance, which now shows a float of 61.83M shares out of 76.48M. Float are those shares outstanding that are held by investors who aren't locked in, so is a strictly smaller number than shares outstanding.

To answer your explicit question: splits, buybacks, secondary offerings, stock dividends and mergers are the most common ways for the shares outstanding to change, which in turn changes the free float. Locked-in shares can also be converted into free float, either after a specific amount of time has passed, or for other reasons. This isn't relevant to the Yahoo! GME error, though.

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