We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Fractional Share?

Mary McMahon
Updated Feb 08, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A fractional share is a partial share of stock. Fractional shares generally cannot be purchased on the stock market and are the result of activities like stock dividends and stock splits. Depending on a company's policies in regards to fractional shares, there are different methods for handling them when they arise. Typically companies do not issue certificates for these types of shares.

A classic situation where a fractional share can come up is in a stock split, where a company's stock is divided into smaller segments. Someone can end up with a half, third, or some other fraction at the end of the split as a result of how the split is performed. Some companies opt to simply round up. If someone is to be left with 142 2/3 shares of stock after a stock split, for example, the company would round up to 143 shares. This can be tidier for accounting purposes, in addition to reducing confusion.

Another option is to cash out the fractional share. In this case, when people have fractional shares after a dividend, split, or other activity, the company sends them cash in the value of the fractional share and records the other shares normally. In the example above, if shares were valued at $9 US Dollars (USD) per share, the shareholder would receive a payment of $6 USD in exchange for the 2/3 share, and would be recorded as owning 142 shares of stock.

In a stock dividend plan, where people receive dividends in the form of more stock, people may be allowed to keep fractional shares, and the shares will be added together over time. If someone needs to cash out, the shares will be dealt with by rounding or receiving cash from the company. As long as a person is not planning to sell or trade the stock, however, the company may have no problems with maintaining records relating to fractional shares.

Accounting for fractional shares is important, but can also be a nuisance, as it is difficult to keep track of remainders and oddments. Companies set policies for the handling of such shares in advance so they will be prepared to take the appropriate steps when they come up. People who are not sure about how a fractional share will be dealt with can ask a company for more information. Whenever events like dividends and splits occur, people should make sure their accounts are properly recorded; if a two percent dividend is announced, for example, and someone doesn't receive a two percent stock increase, this should be addressed as quickly as possible.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Blikissot — On Nov 14, 2014

@Contentum - The stock market has been a focal point for so many countries, that its a wonder that when it goes down that other countries don't riot and have fights. I guess it just goes to prove that there’s a system of checks and balances when it comes to the U.S. government and both the domestic and foreign investors markets.

By CrazyGamer6 — On Nov 14, 2014

I agree with you Contentum. The stock market is definitely not for the faint of heart, but for those who can "hang" in there and let their financial endeavors start to become a reality even when the markets turn against the tides of politics and federal fiscal law.

By Contentum — On Nov 13, 2014

With the way the stock markets have looked as of late, I would be hesitant to just start placing money back in it. Even though it would be a benefit to both the country's economy and my own financial stability.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.