The opening paragraphs of American Airlines 2017 10-K states:

  • there were 473,138,683 shares of American Airlines Group Inc. common stock outstanding

  • there were 1,000 shares of American Airlines, Inc. common stock outstanding, all of which were held by American Airlines Group Inc.

Why 1,000 shares? I read that American Airlines, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group Inc. Is this a convention for subsidiaries?

United Airlines' 10-K shows an identical situation, where 1,000 shares of United Airlines, Inc. common stock are 100% owned by United Continental Holdings, Inc.

  • I'd appreciate if the downvoter could offer an explanation. – Sam Shen Jul 20 '18 at 10:03
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    Not my vote, but it's a corporate finance question, while this is a personal finance site. – MSalters Jul 20 '18 at 10:50
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    @MSalters If it's a question about interpreting information from an annual or quarterly report of a public company, the question may be of relevance to individual investors. – Chris W. Rea Jul 20 '18 at 13:25

This is a guess: it is probably an older name of the original company, and it was originally traded at a stock exchange.

Creating a new 'publicly traded company' through registration and IPO is an slow and expensive process. Therefore, companies like to keep the existing ones around, and if ever needed (for a carveout or split), rename and reuse the registrations. All they have to do for that is keep a small number of shares in their ownership.
It's called a 'jacket' (translated form German 'Mantel', I don't know the correct english term).

  • It's called a Holding Company in English. – MSalters Jul 20 '18 at 13:33

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