Market capitalization is a measure of a company’s size, in terms of the value of its total outstanding shares. Most readers have probably heard of large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stocks.
These classifications are based on the market capitalization of a company, which is defined as the number of a company's outstanding shares multiplied by the price of one share.
For example, if company ABC issued 1,000 shares and it is trading at $10/share, then the market capitalization of company ABC is 1,000 x 10 = $10,000. The largest company by market capitalization as of the time of this writing is Apple Inc. Its market capitalization exceeds $750 billion.
Very often, people confuse the market capitalization of a company with the price of one share of the company. For example, if company ABC issues 10 shares at $100/share (with a market cap of 10 x $100 = $1,000), but another company DEF issued 5,000 shares at $1/share, its market cap is 5,000 x $1 = $5,000, and it is five time bigger than the first company, even though its stock is trading at a dollar.
This can come into play when weighting indexes. Some give weights based on price (Dow Jones Industrial Average), some on market cap (S&P 500), and some use other criteria. As you can see from the above example, choosing one of these weighting methods over the other can create completely different results.
What is Weighted Average Market Capitalization?
What is a Price-Weighted Index?
Employer contributions in the form of company stock can pose some liquidity issues, but it can also be a nice benefit
The IRS permits such loans, but it is rare to find a plan that allows it. In the vast majority of cases, you cannot
A ticker symbol is an abbreviation used to uniquely identify publicly traded shares of a particular stock or security
The Triple Bottom pattern appears when there are three distinct low points that represent a consistent support level
With cryptocurrencies, there is always a question of how the blockchain will scale as technology changes and the currency grows in demand
Passive investing relies on market indices and unmanaged approaches to investing, with the idea being that attempting...
Mortgage REITs are a type of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) which offers investors income distributions which...
In general, bonds rated below BBB on S&P and Fitch's scales are typically called "junk bonds." These bonds usually...
The Random Walk Hypothesis states that in an efficient market, prices will correlate around the intrinsic value
Beta is a measure of how closely an investment follows movements in the market as a whole, or when examining mutual funds