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https://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE%3AAOL&ei=yZCpUODEMsKqqgHPzQE

Previously, I assumed "Inst. Owned" meant the percentage of the company's stock that was owned by the company (viz. not floated), then I started to believe it meant the percentage of the stock which was owned by institutional investors. I still believe/assume that, but now I see AOL is 103% "Inst. Own", which carries me to the temporary assumption that AOL is being shorted right now?

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You know, when you hover your cursor over "Inst. own" on Google Finance, a box will appear that reads, "The percentage of shares outstanding held by institutional investors such as pension plans." Speaking of Google, a quick search for the generic form of your question brings up lots of suggestions, all of which zero-in on short-selling. –  chrisaycock Nov 19 '12 at 3:58
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1 Answer

'Inst. Owned' almost surely means "Institutionally Owned".

With respect to the 103% ownership reported:

  1. Discrepancies caused by varying time lags in reporting ownership may skew the results

  2. Second, and perhaps most likely, is due to short selling. I might own 100 shares, lend them to Bill, and Bill might sell (short) the stock to Nancy. In this case both I and Nancy might report owning 100 shares.

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