Market capitalization is the aggregate valuation of the company based on its current share price and the total number of outstanding stocks. It is calculated by multiplying the current market price of the company’s share with the total outstanding shares of the company.

Market Capitalisation = Current Stock Price x Number of Shares outstanding

Market capitalization is one of the most important characteristics that helps the investor determine the returns and the risk in the share. It also helps the investors choose the stock that can meet their risk and diversification criterion.

For instance, a company has 20 million outstanding shares and the current market price of each share is Rs100. Market capitalization of this company will be 200,00,000 x 100=Rs 200 crore.

Stocks of companies are of three types- 

I . Large Cap stocks
II . Mid Cap stocks
III . Small Cap stocks.

I . Large cap stocks

Market capitalisation for stocks in the BSE-100 Index ranges from Rs 200 bn to Rs 3,500 bn.

These are stocks of usually large and well-established companies that have a strong market presence and are generally considered as safe investments. One important fact about large caps is that information regarding these companies is readily available in newspapers and magazines. Most of the large cap companies have good disclosures and therefore there is no dearth of information for an investor looking into them.

Large companies such as Infosys, TCS, and Wipro are classified as large cap stocks. These companies have been around in the industry long enough and have firmly established themselves as leading players. Their stocks are publicly traded and have large market capitalisations.

II . Mid cap stocks

Mid caps lie between large cap stocks and small cap stocks. Mid cap stocks are those that generally have a market capitalisation within the range of Rs 50 bn and Rs 200 bn. These represent mid-sized companies that are relatively more risky than large cap as investment options yet, they are not considered as risky as small cap companies. They rank between the two extremes on all the important parameters like size, revenues, employee and client base.

When one invests in mid caps for the long term, he may be investing in companies that could become tomorrow’s runaway success stories. Generally speaking, mid cap stocks as an investment can bring you higher returns in 3 to 5 years as opposed to their big brother large cap stocks that can bring you moderate (yet safer) returns during this timeframe.

III . Small cap stocks

Lying at the lowest end of market capitalisation, Small cap stocks are generally viewed under the misconception of being hazardous or ‘quick rich’ stocks. However, both these labels are untrue.

Small cap companies have smaller revenue and client bases, and usually include the start-ups or companies in the early stage of development. Small cap stocks are potentially big gainers as they are yet to be discovered within the sector and can show growth potential in large numbers once unfurled in the market. However, as these enterprises are small ventures, these should be researched properly.