10 Things You Should Know About Stock Splits (2024)

10 Things You Should Know About Stock Splits (1)

What are stock splits? –Stock splits happen when a company increases its outstanding shares to make the stock more affordable to investors. For example, instead of a stock trading at $1,000 per share, a 10-for-1 stock split would allow it to trade for $100 per share (FIGURE 1) while the number of held shares would increase tenfold. This is also called a forward split.

10 Things You Should Know About Stock Splits (2)

Benefits of forward splits Companies tend to implement forward stock splits when the outlook for continued growth and profitability is strongest. Making it easier for investors to buy shares at a lower share price also helps companies broaden their base of ownership. From time to time, stock splits are followed by a bump in stock performance—but not always.

10 Things You Should Know About Stock Splits (3)Is the split worth it? Stock splits have no tangible impact on a company’s total value—they simply create more shares at more affordable prices. Nor does a split change the total value of an investor’s portfolio holding per se. For companies, stock splits can be an expensive process requiring lots of legal oversight and adherence to regulatory rules.
10 Things You Should Know About Stock Splits (4)

No taxes owed! Stock splits aren’t a taxable event, but an investor’s cost basis in a stock should be adjusted to reflect a split. For example, after a 2-for-1 stock split, the cost basis of each share owned after the split will be half of what it was before the split.

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Do mutual funds split like individual stocks? Yes. Mutual funds split the same way individual companies split, but it’s much less common. These splits help to bring in new money and make the fund more marketable. Mutual fund investors can benefit when individual companies do stock splits if the fund they own holds those companies.

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Do stock splits benefit investors? It’s nice to own more shares after a split, since the reduced per-share price might mean there’s room for greater potential price growth. But investors shouldn’t buy a stock simply because they hope it’ll rise in price after a split. Over the long term, a company’s value is determined by its earnings, not its stock price.

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A recent example In early 2024, the per-share price of Walmart, the retail giant, had risen close to $182.00—a high barrier for many ordinary investors in the view of the company’s management. In late January 2024, Walmart announced a 3-for-1 stock effective February 26. After the split, the shares traded at a more affordable $60.45.

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What is the most common stock split ratio? A 2-for-1 stock split is the most common ratio. Three-for-two splits are also common, but fractional splits are not unheard of. In March 2024, Tootsie Roll Industries Inc., the confectionary manufacturer famous for the iconic Tootsie Roll candy, implemented a 1.03-for-1 split.

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What's a reverse split? In a reverse stock split, a company decides to decrease the number of outstanding shares to make the stock more expensive to investors. For example, instead of a stock trading at $5 per share, a 10-for-1 reverse stock split would allow it to trade for $50 per share (FIGURE 2). Shareholders end up with 10 fewer shares for each share formerly held.

10 Things You Should Know About Stock Splits (10)

But isn't a cheaper share price better? Not always. A stock price might sink so low that a company’s reputation can be put at risk. Other times, a price that dips below a certain threshold can cause the stock to be delisted from an exchange or dropped from some mutual-fund holdings. Reverse splits are sometimes seen as a sign of company turmoil.

10 Things You Should Know About Stock Splits (2024)

FAQs

What is the most important thing to remember about a stock split? ›

Key Takeaways. In a stock split, a company divides its existing stock into multiple shares to boost liquidity. Companies may also do stock splits to make share prices more attractive. For shareholders, the total dollar value of their investment remains the same because the split doesn't add real value.

What are 3 benefits to stock splits? ›

A stock split can make the shares seem more affordable, even though the underlying value of the company has not changed. It can also increase the stock's liquidity. When a stock splits, it can also result in a share price increase—even though there may be a decrease immediately after the stock split.

What is 10 for 1 stock split? ›

The stock split is done in a prescribed ratio. Let us assume that this ratio is 10:1 (or 10-for-1). The 10:1 stock split meaning is fairly intuitive; it implies that for every one share held, shareholders get ten shares (post-split).

What are major reasons for stock splits? ›

Stock splits are generally done when the stock price of a company has risen so high that it might become an impediment to new investors. Therefore, a split is often the result of growth or the prospects of future growth, and it's a positive signal.

What stocks are expected to split in 2024? ›

3 Potential Stock Splits to Add to Your 2024 Radar
  • Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) is the most expensive stock on this list on a per-share basis. ...
  • Deckers Outdoor (NYSE:DECK) is another that needs a stock split. ...
  • Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) is no stranger to the spotlight after gaining almost 2,000% over the past five years.
Mar 20, 2024

Do stocks usually go up after a split? ›

A stock split itself doesn't inherently cause the stock price to go up or down. The total value of the company remains the same after a split, as it simply divides existing shares into more shares with a lower price per share. Generally speaking, the price in the market will go up.

What are the pros and cons of a stock split? ›

Pros and cons of stock splits
  • Pro: Makes shares more affordable. ...
  • Pro: May trigger renewed investor interest. ...
  • Con: Could trigger volatility. ...
  • Con: Does not add any new value: At least in the short term, the total value of your assets for the stock in question remains the same.
Dec 27, 2022

What are the cons of a stock split? ›

Disadvantages of a Stock Split

A company cannot rely on a stock split to increase its value or market cap. A stock split divides the existing shares, thus keeping the market cap the same as before. Not to forget, a company must invest some amount to conduct a stock split.

When a stock splits is it good? ›

It's basically a draw, and the value of your investment won't change. However, investors generally react positively to stock splits, partly because these announcements signal that a company's board wants to attract investors by making the price more affordable and increasing the number of shares available.

Should I buy before or after a stock split? ›

It's important to note, especially for new investors, that stock splits don't make a company's shares any better of a buy than prior to the split. Of course, the stock is then cheaper, but after a split the share of company ownership is less than pre-split.

Should you sell before a stock split? ›

Splits are often a bullish sign since valuations get so high that the stock may be out of reach for smaller investors trying to stay diversified. Investors who own a stock that splits may not make a lot of money immediately, but they shouldn't sell the stock since the split is likely a positive sign.

Is a reverse split good or bad? ›

Are reverse stock splits good or bad? All things equal, a reverse stock split is neither good nor bad and has no impact on the value of the total company. However, it often carries a negative connotation as many of the companies doing them are countering a sharp drop in their share price.

Why do companies avoid stock splits? ›

Some companies prefer to avoid splitting because they believe a high stock price gives the company a level of prestige. A company trading at $1,000 per share, for example, will be perceived as more valuable even though the firm's market capitalization may be the same as a company whose shares trade at $50.

How do you know when a stock will split? ›

There are no set guidelines or requirements that determine when a company will split its stock. Often, companies that see a dramatic rise in their stock value consider splitting stock for strategic purposes.

Is it better to buy stock before or after a split? ›

Does it matter to buy before or after a stock split? If you buy a stock before it splits, you'll pay more per share than what it'll cost after it splits. If you're looking to buy into a stock at a cheaper price, you may want to wait until after the stock split.

When stocks split is that good? ›

It's basically a draw, and the value of your investment won't change. However, investors generally react positively to stock splits, partly because these announcements signal that a company's board wants to attract investors by making the price more affordable and increasing the number of shares available.

What are the disadvantages of a stock split? ›

Pros and cons of stock splits
  • Pro: Makes shares more affordable. ...
  • Pro: May trigger renewed investor interest. ...
  • Con: Could trigger volatility. ...
  • Con: Does not add any new value: At least in the short term, the total value of your assets for the stock in question remains the same.
Dec 27, 2022

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