Definition of Shares float Stock terms & definitions

Shares float is the portion of shares of a corporation that are in the hands of public investors as opposed to locked-in stock.

Shares float represents the portion of shares of a corporation that are in the hands of public investors as opposed to locked-in stock held by promoters, company officers, controlling-interest investors, or government. This number is sometimes seen as a better way of calculating market capitalization because it provides a more accurate reflection of what public investors consider the company to be worth. In this context, the float may refer to all the shares outstanding that can be publicly traded

The float is calculated by subtracting the locked-in shares from outstanding shares. Stocks with smaller floats tend to be more volatile than those with larger floats. In general, the large holdings of founding shareholders, corporate cross-holdings, and government holdings in partially privatized companies are excluded when calculating the size of a public float.