Floating Stock: Learn How Stock Float Works

It refers to the total number of shares that are ready for trading on the market. It simply means that there are no limits on the public’s ability to buy and sell shares of a corporation. Simply put, a corporation can trade the claims that are offered on the open market.

Multiple meanings might be associated with a stock float. The first definition of a stock float is the number of shares that are readily accessible to investors. Second, when investors discuss floating a stock, they mean the process of adding a firm to an exchange so that the public can buy shares. Therefore, to flog a stock is to make it publicly available, as in an IPO.

The quantity of publicly traded shares that a corporation has on the open market for trading is known as floating stock. As restricted and closely owned shares are not included, it is only part of the number of shares that a corporation offers. A stock’s float indicates how many shares are currently available for purchase or sale.

 A company’s stock is more volatile than a stock with a big float if it is modest. Due to market availability, investors frequently invest in stocks with more floating stock. Due to the market’s lack of liquidity or stock scarcity, a low share float hinders active trading. Businesses either issue shares or convert their convertible debt when there is little share float.

Floating Stock Formula

Floating Stock = Outstanding Shares – [Shares Owned by Institutions + Restricted Shares (Management and Insiders Shares) + ESOPs]

The floating stock of a firm is determined by the following:

Deduct the restricted and tightly held shares from the total number of shares in circulation, including those held by major shareholders and employees.

  • Shares that a corporation has issued and sold to investors are considered outstanding shares.
  • A restricted stock unitis a share that is temporarily limited from trading due to the lock-up period following an IPO. It is a company’s non-transferable stock.
  • Closely held shares-Shares that are tightly held by significant shareholders, insiders, and employees.


Investors can better comprehend share float by knowing how many shares are available for trade on the open market.

It assists the investor in making their investment decision. More investors prefer to invest when there is a more considerable percentage of float;

Due to the availability of the shares on the market and their simplicity in borrowing and short selling, large share floats draw more investors.


Investors may choose not to buy in stock since there are few of them floating around the market.

Even when the business does not need new funding, a corporation may issue more shares to raise the floating stock. However, this would result in stock dilution, which could anger the current shareholders.

Low float stocks are simple to manipulate because the market responds to huge orders.


The float is essential to investors because it informs them of the amount of stock available for trading. This knowledge may be necessary at crucial moments, such as during a potential short squeeze. However, it’s also beneficial because it reveals the business’s ownership structure and hints at how a company might operate in the future if it needs to acquire capital.

Leave a Reply