The number of shares issued to the public by a company are its shares outstanding. The number of shares outstanding can increase or decrease. They increase if a company does a rights issue or an equity capital raising, if employee share options are exercised, or if the company does a share split (i.e. when a single share is divided into more than one, in which case the value will reduce according to the nature of the share split). Shares outstanding decrease if the company conducts a share buyback (cf.) or if it conducts a reverse share split (the opposite to a share split, where the company combines more than one share into a single share).