Just curious -- I've used S&P stock reports for the past 15 years, and I've always wondered about the "number of shareholders" listed in the report. It seems really low (e.g. the S&P report for eBay says 27,770 employees and 4,951 shareholders; for Google it's 32,467 employees and 3,074 shareholders).
Do they mean thousands of shareholders? Or is this referring only to true shareholders, and not shares held in "street name" e.g. when I own stock it's really my broker who purchases it on my behalf? If the latter, what's the point in this statistic when it doesn't really indicate how many people own stock in company X?