Investing Advice

Market Capitalization

As you become familiar with stock and mutual fund investing, you will encounter the term "cap", as in small-cap, mid-cap, and large-cap. Cap is short for capitalization. As a stock market term, the capitalization of a company is found by multiplying the total number of shares times the current share price.

If a company has 500 million shares trading at $20 a share, its market cap is $10 billion (500,000,000 x $20). This is the total value of the company's stock, the value that the world of stock market investors has placed on the company (at least for today, investors are quick to change their minds).

Today, we define a large-cap company as one whose stock is valued at over $10 billion, a mid-cap from $1 to $10 billion, a small-cap from $250 million to $1 billion, and a company whose stock value is under $250 million as a micro-cap. Depending on who you listen to or how old your reference is, these definitions will vary.

A related point - don't think a company is big just because it has a high stock price, or that it is small just because its stock price is low.

For example, Disney trading at $23 is not smaller than Barnes & Noble trading at $33, since Disney has 2,048,690,000 shares outstanding (called the "float") and B&N has just 68,585,000 shares. That's a $4.7 billion market cap for Disney versus only $226 million for Barnes & Noble.

The price per share, like the market cap, has nothing to do with how big a company is.

Other Stock Market Basics Topics:

  1. Stock Market Basics
  2. Why invest in the stock market?
  3. Why Sell Stock?
  4. How are shares bought and sold on the NASDAQ?
  5. How stocks are traded on the New York Stock Exchange
  6. What are ECNs?
  7. Supply and Demand
  8. American Stock Exchanges
  9. International Stock Exchange
  10. What fuels demand for a stock?
  11. More to Know About Stock Trading
  12. Limit Orders
  13. Market Capitalization
  14. Preferred Stock
  15. How to Buy Stock?
  16. How much money do you need to open a brokerage account?
  17. Money Market Funds
  18. Margin Loans and Investment
  19. Corporation Executive Pay
  20. How much money do you need to open a brokerage account?

Did you find the information you were looking for?
After reading the above article, what is still your biggest question?

Get Weekly Investing Advice
Receive free practical investment advice and tips delivered weekly to your email box with contributions from financial planners, investors, and financing and loan professionals.
  I want to ask a question and receive investment tips.
  I only want to ask a question and don't want helpful advice.
E-Mail Address:  
Your Name:  

To find more investing and stock related websites input the phrase "investing advice" directly into the search box below or simply type in your own search phrase to see over 1 million other investing, stocks and online trading websites.
Who's Not Investing?

Millions marry and start families each year without taking basic steps to make sure their future, as well as their children's, is financially secure.

According to a recent survey by Princeton University and the Consumer Federation of America, 70% of households with incomes under $50,000 a year have retirement savings of less than $5,000. This same report said "most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck".

Learn more about how you can plan, save and invest smart for your family's future.

 Investing Money Sections
arrow Why Invest Money?
arrow Investment Basics
arrow Saving Money
arrow Stock Market History
arrow Stock Market Basics
arrow Stock Market Indexes
arrow Stock Market Investing
arrow Mutual Funds
arrow Investing Advice
arrow Retirement Planning
arrow Saving for College
arrow Financial Planners
arrow Investment Opportunities
arrow Financial Charts
arrow Investment Terms


Return Home

 Home | Contact Us | Privacy | Site Map | Legal notices
 Copyright A to Z Investments 2005. All rights reserved.