When it comes to a company's share structure, there are a lot of questions that come up. How many shares are outstanding? How many shares does the company have in total? What is float? 

These questions and more will be answered in this blog post. We will explain each term and give real-world examples of some of the most well-known companies. Keep reading to learn more.

How many shares are there in total in a company?

The amount of shares that a company has in total entirely depends on the individual company itself. This is because the number of shares is based on the amount of stock that the company has issued. 

Some companies have a lot of stock, while others don't issue much at all. Two types of shares can be used for calculating the total number of shares: outstanding shares and float. 

Outstanding shares are the number of shares that a company has issued minus any shares that the company has repurchased. On the other hand, float is the number of available shares to be traded.

It's calculated by subtracting the number of shares that are held by insiders from the outstanding shares. The float is usually less than the number of shares outstanding because insiders (such as employees and directors) often have restrictions on when they can sell their shares. 

By knowing the float, investors can get a better idea of how easy it will be to buy and sell the stock. This gives the benefit of knowing the risk of being able to sell the stock when needed.

Outstanding shares can be thought of as the total number of shares that a company has issued. Knowing this variable is helpful because it tells us how much equity we are truly receiving when owning a share. 

For example, if there are 100 shares outstanding and you own 50 shares, you own 50% of the company. From this example, if there were 5000 shares outstanding, then you would own 1% of the company. As you can see, the total amount of shares outstanding will change the percentage ownership you have in a company.

How is the number of shares in a company determined?

The number of shares that a company has is based on the number of shares that it has issued. Before the IPO (initial public offering), the number of shares is usually determined by the company's founders. 

The company's total number of shares is usually described as outstanding. This is the total number of shares of the company.

Share buybacks can affect the number of shares outstanding. This is because the company will buy back its own shares from shareholders in the open market, which reduces the number of shares outstanding. 

Stock splits can also determine the number of shares in a company. A stock split is when a company divides its existing shares into multiple new shares. This usually happens when the stock price gets too high, and the company wants to make it more affordable for investors to buy. 

Doing so will increase the total supply of shares and reduce the stock price. For example, if a company has 100 shares outstanding at $50 each and does a two-for-one stock split, it will now have 200 shares outstanding at $25 each. We go into more detail about stock splits in our other article. 

The company may also choose to conduct a reverse stock split that reduces the number of outstanding shares.

How many shares is normal for a company to have?

There is no definite answer when it comes to the "normal" amount of shares for a company because it entirely depends on the company itself. 

Some companies have a lot of outstanding shares, while others don't issue much stock at all. 

It varies and is dependent on the individual company's share structure. Now that you know a little more about company share structures and how they work let's explore the number of shares that some of the most popular companies have. 

Remember that the number of shares can change over time through certain events, like stock splits. 

The following data is from 8/28/2022. If you are reading this later, Yahoo Finance will have the most up-to-date information.

How many shares does Apple have? 

Apple has 16.07B shares outstanding. 16.05B of these shares are free floating. Over 50% of Apple shares are held by institutions. Apple is one of the largest tech companies in the world. Although you might not be able to receive significant equity in this company as a retail investor, it is still a very popular stock.

How many shares does Amazon have?

With 10.19B shares outstanding, Amazon is a stock many investors hold. 9.17B shares are on the float, and nearly 10% is held by insiders. Like Apple, over 50% of shares are held by institutions. 

Amazon has proven itself to be able to grow as a company, and as more and more investors pour into this investment, the board of directors has undergone stock splits in the past. You, as an investor, should be aware of this. 

How many shares does Tesla have?

The beloved EV company (Tesla) has 1.04B shares outstanding. This is much less compared to the other companies mentioned in the article. 873.13M of those shares are on the float. Insiders own a large percentage of Tesla at 17.19%. Elon Musk and other early investors are likely holding onto this equity because they believe in the future of Tesla.

How many shares does Google have?

As one of the kings of the dot com era, Google has continued to reign supreme in the world of search engines. With 6.16B shares outstanding (Class A) and 11.36B in float, this company is worth billions. 

Google's parent company, Alphabet, also has a large number of shares with Class A and Class C shares. This is why the float is larger than the shares outstanding in this case. When the total outstanding shares are combined from the different classes, Alphabet has 12.16B shares. If you want to invest in Google, ensure you understand the difference between the share classes. 

How many shares does Coca-Cola have?

This brand icon has 4.32B shares outstanding. Regarding the float, Coca-Cola has 3.89B shares available to be traded. This company has been around for over a century and continues to be one of the most popular beverage companies in the world.


Knowing how much equity you are getting when investing is crucial. You can't accurately value a stock if you don't know how many shares are outstanding for a company. With this helpful guide, you should be able to understand share structures and how to find the number of shares for different companies.