This article was updated on Aug. 4, 2017, and originally published on Aug. 10, 2016.

It's no secret that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock has outperformed the S&P 500 over the long haul. But the tech giant's stock price today simply doesn't do Apple stock's outperformance over the years justice. Afer all, Apple has split its stock four times since it went public -- and its last stock split was a 7-to-1 split.

In order to fully appreciate Apple stock's long-term return, here's a breakdown of Apple's stock split history, as well as the stock's split-adjusted return over the long haul.

Apple store entrance

Apple store. Image source: Apple.

AAPL stock split history

Stock Split

Date

7-for-1

June 9, 2014

2-for-1

Feb. 28, 2005

2-for-1

June 21, 2000

2-for-1

June 16, 1987

Date shown is the first date shares traded on a split-adjusted basis.

Apple stock's split-adjusted return

AAPL Chart

AAPL data by YCharts

Going public at $22 in 1980 and trading at around $156 recently, Apple's stock price today doesn't come close to capturing the enormous return long-term shareholders have seen.

For some context, here's a list of Apple stock's split-adjusted returns for various periods.

Period

Apple Stock Split-Adjusted Return

5-year return

78%

10-year return

732%

Since Apple's IPO in 1980

30,420%

Data source: YCharts. Table source: author.

To put Apple stock's monstrous split-adjusted return in perspective, consider this: If all dividends were reinvested, $10,000 invested just 10 years ago would be worth about $87,500 today. This same amount invested when Apple went public in 1980 would be worth about $3.5 million today.

AAPL stock split FAQ

How many times has Apple stock split?

Since Apple went public in 1980, shares have split four times.

When did Apple stock split last?

In June of 2014, Apple stock was split 7-to-1. Whether it was on purpose or not, the split changed Apple stock's pre-split all-time high from a few dollars above $700 to about $100 after accounting for the split.

What is Apple's split-adjusted IPO price?

Apple's initial public offering price was $22. Adjusted for splits, however, the IPO price is $0.39.

Why does Apple split its stock?

Generally, stock splits are purposed to make shares easier to buy for individual investors. This was particularly the case with Apple during its last split, as shares went from trading under $700 to under $100. In a 2014 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook specifically said that the company was splitting its shares to make them more accessible to a larger group of investors.

In the end, however, splitting a stock does nothing for the overall value of a business.

Will Apple stock split again?

This really depends on how shares perform in the future, but it's unlikely to happen anytime soon. Given that when Apple split its shares last, it didn't do it until the stock hit $700, a stock split is probably the last thing on the board's mind with shares currently trading at about $156.

Apple's need for so many stock splits over the years are a testament to its market-crushing return. Indeed, without these splits, Apple's stock price would have appreciated so much that many individual investors would have a difficult time buying shares today.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.