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Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)
Shares Outstanding
448 Mil (As of Mar. 2015)

Shares outstanding are shares that have been authorized, issued, and purchased by investors and are held by them. Discover Financial Services's shares outstanding for the quarter that ended in Mar. 2015 was 448 Mil.

Discover Financial Services's quarterly shares outstanding declined from Dec. 2014 (451 Mil) to Mar. 2015 (448 Mil). It means Discover Financial Services bought back shares from Dec. 2014 to Mar. 2015 .

Discover Financial Services's annual shares outstanding declined from Dec. 2013 (487 Mil) to Dec. 2014 (463 Mil). It means Discover Financial Services bought back shares from Dec. 2013 to Dec. 2014 .


Definition

Shares outstanding are shares that have been authorized, issued, and purchased by investors and are held by them. They have voting rights and represent ownership in the corporation by the person that holds the shares. They should be distinguished from treasury shares, which are shares held by the corporation itself, having no exercisable rights.

Shares outstanding can be calculated as either basic or fully diluted. The fully diluted shares outstanding count includes diluting securities, such as options, warrants or convertibles.


Explanation

A company may buy back shares or issue shares in any fiscal period. If a company buys back shares, we should observe that the total number of shares decline. If the company issues new shares, the number of shares outstanding increases.

If a company buys back shares, we should also observe negative number for Net Issuance of Stock in its cash flow statement. If a company issues shares, we will observe positive number of Net Issuance of Stock.


Be Aware

Usually the presence of treasury shares and a history of buyback are good indicators that company has competitive advantage. But studies have shown that companies usually buy back at wrong time. Buying back shares below its intrinsic value increases value for remaining shareholders. Buying back overvalued shares destroys value for existing shareholders.


Related Terms

Net Issuance of Stock, Buy Back Rate


Historical Data

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their own currency.

Discover Financial Services Annual Data

Nov05Nov06Nov07Nov08Nov09Nov10Nov11Nov12Dec13Dec14
Shares Outstanding 529570479483508549543520487463

Discover Financial Services Quarterly Data

Dec12Mar13Jun13Sep13Dec13Mar14Jun14Sep14Dec14Mar15
Shares Outstanding 502497490484475472467461451448
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