Updated from 8:37 a.m. ET to include analyst comments and opening share prices
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG) will split its stock on Thursday, allowing co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to solidify their collective control of the web search giant as it expands through acquisitions and share issuance. Google's C shares will trade under ticker 'GOOG,' while A shares will now trade under ticker 'GOOGL.'
In the split, Google will issue non-voting Class C shares to its existing shareholders by way of a dividend, effectively splitting the stock. The C shares were issues to Google shareholders on April 2, giving investors two shares for every one they held before. Importantly, Brin and Page will maintain their majority holding of class B shares, which carry 10 votes per share vs. just one vote per A share.
The overall number of Google shares will double to about 673 million shares, and will mean that Google's earnings per share figures will now be halved. Although EPS will be halved, Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente said on Thursday earnings estimates for the company's split adjusted shares are unchanged.
The stock split will have a few impacts. Most importantly, Brin and Page have solidified their majority voting rights in Google, meaning they will remain the ultimate arbiters of the company's strategy. Brin and Page hold over 55% of Google's votes, meaning they are a de-facto majority, even as their economic interest in the company has fallen below 20%.