Tesla shares slide as 3-1 stock split begins

Aug 25 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc’s ( TSLA.O ) shares fell on Thursday as a three-for-one stock split announced by the world’s most valuable carmaker to woo retail investors took effect.

Shares of the electric car maker, led by Elon Musk, opened at $302 and fell to $293 in early trading.

Tesla’s second stock split in as many years follows those of other high-growth companies, including ( AMZN.O ) and parent Alphabet Google ( GOOGL.O ), and highlights the growing need to diversify its investor base.

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Stock splits “certainly have a greater appeal to retail investors and make their options more affordable as well,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley.

“Retail investors are a very important group for Tesla, and today’s stock split is essentially a recognition of that fact.”

Austin-based Tesla had debuted at $17 in 2010 and its shares skyrocketed to trade at more than $2,000 at their peak, becoming among the highest-priced on Wall Street and making it difficult for small investors to bet on the high-growth stock .

In August 2020, the company decided to split the stock on a five-to-one basis, breaching the $1 trillion market cap in 2021.

The stock closed at $891.29 on Wednesday before the three-for-one split took effect.

The electric car maker is the sixth company in the S&P 500 to split its stock this year, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for the S&P and Dow Jones Indices.

Tesla’s ticker was trending on social media, indicating increased chatter among individual investors.

The company’s shares have fallen around 11% since the company announced plans to increase the number of shares in March.

“In typical buy-the-rumour, sell-the-news style, investors tend to drastically scale back purchases of splitting stocks in the weeks following the effective split date, causing share price momentum to wane,” analysts at Vanda Research said in a note. .

Tesla shares have risen to take the company’s market value to over $1 trillion since the last split

A stock split does not affect the fundamentals of a company, but makes it easier for individual investors who want to make small trades. However, the benefits of stock splits become less clear as brokerage houses allow clients to buy portions of the company’s stock.

Tesla shares have fallen about 16% this year as concerns over aggressive U.S. interest rate hikes and geopolitical uncertainty sparked a selloff in high-growth stocks.

The latest three-for-one split means shareholders will get two more shares for every one they owned as of August 17.

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Reporting by Akash Sriram and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Devik Jain; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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