What are Fully Diluted Shares?

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  • 13 Nov 2023
What are Fully Diluted Shares?

Key Highlights

  • Fully Diluted Shares represent the total number of common shares a company would have if all potentially dilutive securities were exercised.

  • It is important to understand Fully Diluted Shares since they impact a company's true ownership structure and can cause dilution effects on existing shareholders.

  • Investors must consider Fully Diluted Shares while analyzing a company's financial health, as they affect metrics like Earnings Per Share (EPS).

  • Making well-informed investment decisions and predicting future stock price movements require an accurate evaluation of Fully Diluted Shares.

Shares are like pieces of ownership in a company. When you own shares, it means you have a part of that company. Think of it as having a share of a cake; the more shares you have, the bigger your slice. These shares are bought and sold on stock exchanges, sort of like a market for trading pieces of cake. When you buy shares, you become a shareholder in the company. That means you have a say in some decisions the company makes, and you can get a piece of the company's profits, which is called a dividend. These dividends are like rewards for being a part-owner of the company, and they depend on how well the company does.

Becoming a Shareholder When you buy shares of a company, you become a part-owner of that company. It's like having a share of a big pie, and the size of your share depends on how many shares you own. This also means you can get some of the money the company makes as a reward for being an owner. We call this reward a dividend, and the company decides how much to give based on how well it's doing. Shareholders can sell their shares to other people whenever they want, and the new buyers become shareholders too.

Fully Diluted Shares refer to the total number of shares that would be outstanding if all possible sources of conversion, such as convertible bonds, stock options, and other convertible securities, were exercised or converted into common stock. In other words, it represents the maximum number of shares that could potentially exist in a company if all convertible securities were converted.

Understanding fully diluted shares is crucial for investors because it plays a vital role in determining a key financial metric known as Earnings Per Share (EPS). EPS measures how much profit a company makes for each share of its stock. For instance, if a company's total profit (minus certain preferred dividends) is Rs 2,00,000, and there are 20,000 common shares available, then the EPS is Rs 20. However, if there are more fully diluted shares, the same profit is distributed among a larger number of shares, potentially reducing the EPS. Investors use this information to assess their ownership stake and the impact on their earnings as part-owners of the company.

Investors employ the concept of fully diluted shares to compute a company's Earnings Per Share (EPS). This calculation helps them gauge the size of their ownership slice, figuratively speaking. It also aids in understanding whether their portion of the company's profit is getting smaller or larger due to additional shares. Thus, comprehending the implications of fully diluted shares is akin to realizing the size of one's financial stake and how it might change in the context of the company's financial performance. It's a valuable tool for making informed investment decisions

Fully diluted shares play a pivotal role in influencing a company's Earnings Per Share (EPS), a crucial metric for assessing a company's financial health. EPS is widely used by investors to gauge a company's value and profitability as part of fundamental analysis, which delves into factors like net asset value and management quality to estimate a company's worth and predict its future stock price.

It's a common principle in the stock market that companies with higher EPS are seen as having better growth potential, which can drive up their stock prices. A company's ability to boost its EPS often results in higher stock prices and potential profits for investors. Before diving into EPS calculations, investors closely examine the number of fully diluted shares and how they relate to EPS. In practice, the relationship between fully diluted shares and EPS is inversely proportional. If the count of fully diluted shares rises, the EPS of the company drops, and vice versa. Consider the example where outstanding shares are 20,000, and net income is Rs 2,00,000, resulting in an EPS of Rs 20. However, if the outstanding shares or fully diluted shares increase to 40,000, the EPS falls to Rs 5.

For investors, keeping an eye on fully diluted shares is crucial since it can significantly impact EPS. An increase in EPS is typically positive, indicating potential stock price growth. Conversely, a rise in the number of fully diluted shares suggests a lower EPS, signaling a potential drop in stock prices.

Calculating fully diluted shares for a company involves several steps. Here's a straightforward guide to help you navigate the process:

Stock Options

Begin by identifying the total number of stock options granted to the company's employees. Keep in mind that only current employees can exercise these stock options. Additionally, consider any stock options offered to external investors. This step allows you to determine the number of shares that employees or investors can purchase when they exercise their stock options, ultimately contributing to the fully diluted shares.


Warrants are akin to options contracts, granting holders the right to purchase company shares at a predetermined price in the future. Calculate the number of outstanding warrants and multiply this figure by the number of shares each warrant allows its holder to convert. This calculation provides insight into the potential increase in outstanding shares if the warrants are exercised.

Convertible Bonds

Convertible bonds function as debt instruments, where a company issues bonds to secure loans from lenders. With convertible bonds, bondholders have the option to convert them into company shares, thus augmenting fully diluted shares. Determine the total number of convertible bonds issued by the company.

The Final Tally

After obtaining the numbers from the previous three steps, you can calculate the total shares that may be added to the existing outstanding shares. By adding this figure to the company's current outstanding shares, you arrive at the count of fully diluted shares for that company. This critical information allows you to effectively compute the company's Earnings Per Share (EPS) and gain insights into its profitability. These procedures will help you evaluate a company's fully diluted shares and give you a better idea of how it could affect financial measures like EPS.


Investors and analysts require a clear understanding of fully diluted shares to evaluate a company's financial status accurately. It's crucial to evaluate fully diluted shares when assessing a company's profitability and stock value. Earnings Per Share (EPS) is a key metric used to measure profitability, and it's impacted by the relationship between fully diluted shares and EPS. This relationship is inverse, which means that an increase in fully diluted shares can lead to a decrease in EPS, potentially affecting stock prices. Therefore, it's essential to fully diluted shares meaning to make informed investment decisions and perform fundamental analysis.

FAQs on Diluted Shares

Yes, fully diluted shares are used to calculate a company's equity value. They represent the total number of shares that could be in circulation.

Fully diluted shares typically do not include preferred stock, as they pertain to common shares and dilutive securities.

Fully diluted shares are important because they provide a comprehensive view of a company's potential future ownership structure and the impact of convertible securities

Stock dilution can be identified by an increase in the number of fully diluted shares, often caused by the conversion of dilutive securities.

Basic shares represent the total common shares currently in circulation. In contrast, fully diluted shares include potential shares from dilutive securities like stock options and convertible bonds.

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