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Apple Computer

(AAPL) - Get Report

, its shares up 22% this year and 267% since the start of 2004, said Friday it will split its stock 2-for-1.

The personal computer pioneer, whose successful second act has turned on the iPod mobile music machine, will distribute the additional shares before March to holders of record Feb. 18. The company boosted its outstanding share authorization to 1.8 billion from 900 million.

The announcement sent the shares up $1.74, or 2.2%, to $80.10. While a stock split doesn't create any new value by itself, the perception of success it foments often attracts momentum buyers in the days after the announcement.

The split news comes a month after Apple said its first-quarter profit rose by a factor of nearly four, spurred on by the sale of nearly 4.5 million iPods.