Total common shares outstanding represents the number of common/ordinary shares issued and actively held by shareholders at the end of the period. Therefore, it excludes treasury shares. It includes the number of shares of different classes which are considered as ordinary shares and available on the market, including shares held by institutional investors, restricted shares held by a company's insiders and officers and shares held by employees according to ESOP. A company's number of total common shares outstanding is not static and may be changed over time.
- Usually, the number of common shares outstanding is posted by a company in regular financial reports. Moreover, publicly traded companies are obligated to report the number of issued and outstanding shares and generally post it in investor relations sections on their websites.
- If a company doesn't report common shares outstanding, then the value may be calculated over par value from regular reports.
- Total common shares outstanding are adjusted by splits. Therefore, the history of per share fundamentals is calculated by taking it into account.
- ADR shares are calculated using the reported ADR ratio.
- For multiple-issue companies, the economic value of each share class is normalized relative to the primary issue.