What Is Market Cap?

What is market cap? Here we discuss the basics, significance and related issues of the metric that is often used to gauge a company's size and value.

market cap written in gold letters on top of neon-colored pie chart
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the most common terms bandied about among investors is "market cap," which is also known as market capitalization or market value. But what is market cap?

In its most basic definition, market cap is equal to what a company is worth at any particular stock price. 

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Mark R. Hake, CFA
Contributing writer, Kiplinger

Mark R. Hake, CFA, is a Chartered Financial Analyst and entrepreneur. He has been writing on stocks for over six years and has also owned his own investment management and research firms focused on U.S. and international value stocks, for over 10 years. In addition, he worked on the buy side for investment firms, hedge funds, and investment divisions of insurance companies for the past 36 years. Lately, he is also working as Chief Strategy Officer for a tech start-up company, Foldstar Inc, based in Princeton, New Jersey.