Market Capitalization: Calculation and Categories

The market capitalization calculation is an important and useful stock valuation formula for investment analysis. Market capitalization (a.k.a. market cap) is the total market value of all the company’s outstanding equity shares. This represents the total value the market has placed on the value of a company’s common stock.

Market Capitalization Calculation

Market Capitalization = Number of shares outstanding multiplied by the price of the stock. (shares outstanding X stock price)

  • Value of a Business
  • Stock Certificate

Why is this Stock Valuation Formula Important?

When investors purchase a stock they are buying a fractional share of the whole company. The market capitalization is the valuation the stock market is giving the equity of the company. Therefore, market capitalization represents the total price they would be paying for all of a company’s common stock instead of just purchasing a fractional share.

Market capitalization provides a common metric with which to compare profits, cash flows, revenues, expenses, assets, debt, etc.

Remember, owning a stock represents a fractional ownership of the company. Market capitalization is the current value at which you can buy and sell your fractional share of the company. This makes it a relevant and important measurement for financial analysis.

Market Cap Categories

Market capitalization categories are guidelines used to describe and segment stocks with various market valuations.

Mega Cap – Over $200 billion. These are usually blue chip companies with excellent track records.

Large Cap – $10 – $200 billion. Mostly well established companies with well known products.