Oil and natural gas drilling contractor Helmerich & Payne ( HP) said Thursday that its directors approved a 2-for-1 stock split, subject to shareholder approval. The company, which currently has about 52 million shares outstanding, said it will hold special shareholder meeting in the second quarter to vote on increasing the number of its authorized common shares. "Our board's decision to approve a stock split is a reflection of our confidence in our future performance," the company said. "We believe that this action will allow the company's stock to trade in a range that will be more attractive to investors and will provide added liquidity to our stock." Helmerich & Payne shares recently traded at $67.68, up $1.16, or 1.7%.