Apple Splitting Stock for First Time Since 2014

Apple CFO Luca Maestri said the 4-to-1 split is intended to bring more investors into the fold.
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Apple is aiming to bring its stock to a wider base of investors by breaking shares four ways. 

The iPhone giant announced the move in its third-quarter earnings release, saying that trading will begin on a split-adjusted basis on August 31, 2020. Depending on how shares perform between now and then, the split shares could be worth roughly $100 each. 

Apple shares rose 6% in after hours trading on Thursday after closing at $384.76.

This is Apple's first stock split since 2014. Since going public in 1980, Apple’s stock has split four times since the company went public. It split on a 2-for-1 basis in 1987, 2000 and 2005, and on a seven-to-one basis in June 2014. Apple shares have appreciated about 320% since its last stock split. 

The split "definitely helps liquidity in shares and brings new investors in," said CFRA's Angelo Zino. 

Apple CFO Luca Maestri said on its third quarter earnings call that the split is intended to make Apple's stock "more accessible to a broader base of investors." 

In addition, Apple's board declared a cash dividend of $0.82 per share of its common stock, payable on August 13.

For the quarter overall, Apple easily beat top and bottom line estimates, reporting 18% EPS growth to $2.58 and 11% revenue growth to $59.7 billion, despite a challenging quarter owing to COVID-19. 

Apple management pinned the strength on a better-than-expected sales recovery in May and June, healthy sales of the iPhone SE, strong demand for iPads and Macs, and the impact of government stimuli around the world. 

The company did not provide and specific fiscal guidance for the September quarter, but said that its upcoming iPhone lineup will be arriving "a few weeks" later than it did last year. Apple's iPhone 11s went on sale Sept. 20, 2019. 

Apple shares were up 28% year to date heading into earnings.