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Why 3-D Printing Software Maker Dassault Systemes SA's Stock Apparently Crashed 49% Today

This article was updated on April 7, 2015.

Shareholders in 3D printing software maker Dassault Systemes (NASDAQOTH: DASTY  ) can rest easy, as their stock is not down 49% today, no matter what they see on Google Finance, Yahoo! Finance, and other top financial sites today. The France-based company's stock apparently split 2-for-1 on July 23, 2014, and that's not yet reflected in the price-per-share data on the financial sites.

I say "apparently" because I had to assume that the split was effective today, as news isn't easy to find. Dassault's first-quarter earnings report released in March, however, did include the following on page 3:

The Board of Directors has scheduled the Annual Shareholders' Meeting for May 26, 2014 and is recommending a 4% increase in the annual cash dividend per share equivalent to €0.83 per share for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, compared to €0.80 per share for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012 and a two-for-one stock split effective from July 2014. (emphasis mine)

A telltale sign of a split, or how not to be freaked out again: daily volume
This type of delay in financial sites reflecting stock splits isn't uncommon, especially when we're talking about foreign companies trading over the counter in the United States. A similar scenario played out earlier this year with Sweden-based 3D printing company Arcam. However, in Arcam's case it was less obvious, as the stock split was a less common 4-for-1, with the share price appearing to plummet about 70%. (The stock was up that day, which is why the drop was less than the 75% it would be for just the split.) According to comments on my Arcam article, some investors didn't know what was happening. I'd assume that the same might be true in Dassault's case.

If you ever see a huge drop in stock price, it will be almost surely be due to a stock split if the daily trading volume is just average.

 

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Read/Post Comments (6) | Recommend This Article (16)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 23, 2014, at 5:33 PM, wmarantz wrote:

    I came to the same conclusion after much web surfing (which revealed that the stock was, in fact, up about 1% today, and had a p/e of 17+.) So I didn't buy it.

    They don't even mention the 2-1 split on their bloody website!

  • Report this Comment On July 23, 2014, at 7:44 PM, TMFMcKenna wrote:

    Wmarantz,

    I understand your frustration. I don't know why companies don't make sure to release a quick PR a day or two before the actual split, so it's posted on ticker feeds, and quite visible on the Investors Relations sections of their websites.

    TMFMcKenna

  • Report this Comment On July 24, 2014, at 10:39 AM, PuddinHead42 wrote:

    If a stock "drops" 50% and there is no huge increase in volume, then you can be confident the stock is not crashing!

  • Report this Comment On July 24, 2014, at 11:27 AM, gospeljohn668 wrote:

    I nearly panicked when I saw that! Had I not been a moderately seasoned investor, I might have done something drastic. Fortunately I did my own digging (for about an hour), hoping all along it was a split, and then strangely remembered that I'd read something about that awhile back. I'm glad google and yahoo caught up, but I fear for the newbies/day-traders (which could have sent it even lower, especially if they had stop limits in place)! Even my online broker was showing a harsh loss in my account, and probably would have sold my shares if I'd had a stop order in place (fortunately, I don't typically use those either). Anyways, hopefully these lines of communication get cleared up in the future lest people accidentally sell their positions or make an uninformed decision.

  • Report this Comment On July 24, 2014, at 2:16 PM, kghagans wrote:

    They most certainly did mention the split on their web site. Read their news page carefully.

    "2014 full year outlook reaffirmed and EPS objective adjusted for two-for-one stock split"

    http://www.3ds.com/press-releases/single/dassault-systemes-r...

  • Report this Comment On July 24, 2014, at 5:15 PM, TMFMcKenna wrote:

    gospeljohn668,

    I'm sure you're not the only one who panicked. I just don't think investors should need to spend an hour, as you did, or even less time digging. In some cases, it's a given that there will be a delay in adjusting the price-per-share data on financial sites. So it would seem simply enough for cos. to post a reminder PR a day or two before that makes it onto ticker feeds.

    kdhagans,

    That item was posted today July 24 -- a day after the fact.

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