Palm Splits Stock 2-For-1

The company will now have more than 100 million shares outstanding.
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With

Palm's

(PALM)

shares trading at the upper end of a range they've been in for the last four years, the company's board has decided to split the stock.

The 2-for-1 split, announced Monday, will take effect March 14 based on the closing price of the stock on Feb. 28. The move, already approved by Palm's board, will double the number of Palm shares outstanding to more than 100 million.

That would put Palm's outstanding shares in line with "companies with comparable revenue," the Treo smartphone maker said in a statement.

The split will mark the second ever for Palm and a much more happier one than the first. In October 2002, the company executed a 1-for-20 reverse split in a desperate ploy to get the shares out of penny-stock range. Unlike many such moves after the stock market bust earlier this decade, Palm's actually worked.

Palm's move comes amid different pressures for the company's shares, which are up 52% over the last year. The company has seen a surge in sales from its Treo line, leading to a revival in revenue and earnings. But earlier this month, one of the company's leading investors called on Palm's management to explore selling the company, warning of looming competition and commoditization of the smartphone market.

Shares of Palm closed regular trading Monday off $1.83, or 5%. In after-hours exchanges following the split announcement the company shares were up 89 cents, or 2.5%.