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3 Top Stock Splits to Watch in 2022

It's very possible 2022 will go down in history -- among equity investors, anyway -- as The Year of the Stock Split. With share prices pumped by a bull market that was running along briskly until recently, many companies elected to employ this classic piece of financial engineering to bring their stocks down to more modest levels.

Several more splits are coming, and three of which are coming from the most admired, and closely followed companies on the scene -- Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL), and Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) (OTC: NTDO.F).

It's important to note that stock splits do not change the underlying market cap of a company; they merely reapportion it among a higher number of shares.

1. Tesla

Tesla remains durably popular among a wide swath of investors. Even though it's taken plenty of hits this year, like nearly every other popular stock, the company's leading position in the white-hot electric vehicle (EV) space keeps its price high -- these days, shares are trading for around $700.

Since a big part of Tesla's appeal is its attraction to retail investors like you or me, it's in the company's interest to keep those shares accessable to investors who may not have a ton of cash on hand. So the company's move is to propose a 3-for-1 stock split, under which existing shareholders would effectively receive a "stock dividend" of two shares for every one they hold presently.

This piece of financial engineering is being subject to a shareholder vote, which will be finalized at Tesla's upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for early August.

Does any of this sound familiar, long-term Tesla holders?

It should, because the company pulled the stock split lever at almost exactly the same time back in August 2020. Then, it engineered a 5-for-1 split, surely in the hopes of roping in would-be investors spooked by the high sticker price of roughly $1,300 per share. Following the announcement, the shares rocketed notably higher. Maybe Tesla is hoping for similar magic with the new split.

2. Alphabet

Another member of the lofty-stock-price-club is Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL), the parent company of mighty internet search titan Google. Both of the company's listed stocks -- Class A and Class C -- trade north of $2,200 apiece these days, even after a queasy slide in price aside other tech titles.

So it made a lot of sense for Alphabet to declare a hefty 20-for-1 split for the two share classes, in addition to the Class B insider shares that aren't publicly traded.

Alphabet announced this concurrent with the release of its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 results back in February. This was probably no accident, as the company posted some powerful year-over-year growth in revenue and profitability, trouncing analyst estimates as it did so. Following that, it came as no surprise when shareholders approved the stock split in a vote conducted at the company's AGM earlier this month.

That vote has made Alphabet's 20-for-1 stock split settled. It will take effect on July 15, when existing Class A, B, and C stockholders of record as of July 1 will receive 19 shares for each one they presently own.

3. Nintendo

Tesla and Alphabet/Google enjoy a lot of attention from investors; storied Japanese video game company Nintendo's spotlight is dimmer. That might change soon, as Nintendo has drawn notice for its own stock split. This is a 10-for-1 deal, initially announced in May, that will go down in the opening days of October.

This one is a bit complicated. Like Alphabet, Nintendo has multiple classes of U.S.-traded stock, or more accurately American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). The one tickered NTDOY represents only one-eighth of a share of the "main" Nintendo stock traded in Japan. NTDO.F, meanwhile, equals a full one share of the root Japanese stock.

As my colleague Anders Bylund indicates, the 10-for-1 stock split is very much aimed at domestic investors rather than ADR holders.

At the moment, equities on the Japanese exchange can only be purchased in minimum blocks of 100 shares. Since one share of Nintendo there currently costs 57,450 yen ($422), even the minimal buy would leave an investor the equivalent of more than $42,000 out of pocket. Given that, we can see how a 10-for-1 stock split is irresistibly appealing to an issuer like Nintendo.

Nintendo stockholders of record as of Sept. 30 will receive the new shares, the Japanese company declared in its original announcement.

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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Tesla. The Motley Fool recommends Nintendo. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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