public float

Public float is the portion of outstanding stock in a public corporation that is held by public investors, as opposed to stock held by the stockholders with controlling interests, directors, officers, or other non-public entities. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) states that “public float is calculated by multiplying the number of the company’s common shares held by non-affiliates by the market price,” and in the case of an initial public offering (IPO) adding the shares issued in the IPO.

[Last updated in February of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]