Floating Stock Definition and Example

What Is Floating Stock?

Floating stock is the number of shares available for trading of a particular stock. Low float stocks are those with a low number of shares.

Understanding Floating Stock

A company may have a large number of shares outstanding, but limited floating stock. For example, assume a company has 50 million shares outstanding.

Why Floating Stock Is Important

A company's float is an important number for investors because it indicates how many shares are actually available to be bought and sold by the general investing public.

Special Considerations

A company is not responsible for how shares within the float are traded by the public—this is a function of the secondary market.

Example of Floating Stock

As of June 2020, General Electric (GE) had 8.75 billion shares outstanding.1 Of this, 0.13% were held by insiders. 63.61% were held by large institutions.


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