Every company has an authorized amount of stock it can issue legally. Of this amount, the total number of shares owned by investors, including the company's officers and insiders (the owners of restricted stock), is known as the shares outstanding. The number available only to the public to buy and sell is known as the float.

Treasury stocks are shares that were once a part of the float and shares outstanding but were subsequently repurchased by the company and decommissioned. These stocks do not have voting rights and do not pay any distributions. A company can decide to hold onto treasury stocks indefinitely, reissue them to the public, or even cancel them.

To learn more, see A Breakdown Of Stock Buybacks.

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