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3 things to know about Apple’s stock split

Company’s fifth split in history led to changes for the Dow Jones Industrial Average that will also take place before trading begins Monday

Apple was the largest component of the price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average, but falls to the middle of the pack after a four-for-one stock split.


AFP/Getty Images

Apple Inc.’s stock price will appear quite a bit lower Monday morning, but investors shouldn’t fret.

The smartphone giant’s four-for-one stock split officially took place after the close of trading Friday, and Apple
AAPL,
-0.16%

anticipates that the move will make its shares “more accessible to a broader base of investors.” As a result of the split, Apple shareholders will own four shares for every one they had prior.

It’s a notable day as well for Tesla Inc.
TSLA,
-1.13%
,
which is conducting a five-for-one split after Friday’s closing bell and will see its stock also begin trading on this new basis Monday morning.

Here are three things to know about Apple’s stock split.

How it works

After Friday’s closing bell, Apple shareholders are due three extra shares for each existing share of the company that they own. This is applicable for those who were shareholders of record by Aug. 24. Apple shares officially start trading at the new split-adjusted price at the start of Monday’s session. Apple announced its plans for the split on July 30 with its most recent earnings report.

Expect Apple’s stock price to be about 75% lower when trading begins Monday morning as a result of the split — shares closed Friday at $499.23, suggesting that they will open around $124.81, though trading action in after-hours and premarket trading could affect that. While some systems may appear to register that Apple’s stock has actually declined by 75%, the historical records will eventually be adjusted so that Apple’s past stock prices are also reflected on a split-adjusted basis.

Historical precedent

This marks Apple’s fifth stock split in its time as a public company. Apple conducted a seven-for-one split on June 9, 2014, and two-for-one splits on June 16, 1987, June 21, 2000, and Feb. 28, 2005. Had Apple never split its stock, shares would currently sell for roughly $28,000 apiece.

With the historical adjustments, previous events and prices will be changed. For instance, Apple priced shares in its 1980 initial public offering at $22 a shares. After its first four stock splits, though, that price fell to 39 cents a shares in the historical register, and it will fall again — to about a dime — after this split.

Shaking up the Dow

Accessibility aside, Apple’s stock split also helps bring its stock price more in line with peers in the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.56%

, which is weighted by price. Trading just shy of $500 before the split, Apple was the biggest component in the blue-chip index, but it will fall to the middle of the pack after the split as UnitedHealth Group Inc.
UNH,
+0.86%

retakes the top spot, which it occupied for part of the spring. Apple will have the 18th largest weight based on Friday’s closing price, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Just seven Dow Jones Industrial Average components, including Apple, had share prices higher than $200 prior to the split.

Apple’s split also prompted S&P Dow Jones Indices to make some changes to the rest of the index, booting out some lower-priced stocks. Pfizer Inc.
PFE,
+0.13%
,
Exxon Mobil Corp.
XOM,
+2.39%
,
and Raytheon Technologies Corp.
RTX,
+2.20%

will exit the index before trading begins Monday, with Salesforce.com Inc.
CRM,
-1.88%
,
Amgen Inc.
AMGN,
+0.12%
,
and Honeywell International Inc.
HON,
+1.44%

taking their place.

Read: Why Dow’s shake-up is bad for stocks added to it—and less bad for those booted

It’s the second time in the past decade that the S&P Dow Jones Indices committee will be swapping out three components at a time, and the third time this millennium.

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