What happened

Shares of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) soared on Wednesday, rising more than 10% as of 12:20 p.m. EDT.

The growth stock's gain follows news that the company's board of directors approved a 5-for-1 split of Tesla's stock. Some investors may be betting that there will be greater demand for the stock at a lower price point.

But could a spike in demand for the electric-car maker's stock be short-lived? 

The interior of a Model 3

A Tesla Model 3. Image source: Tesla.

So what

Tesla said on Tuesday afternoon that it will split its stock later this month. Following the split, shareholders will own five shares with a combined value equal to the value of what one share is trading at the time of the split.

It's important to note that the stock split will do nothing to boost the underlying intrinsic value of the shares that investors own. In theory, therefore, it doesn't make sense for the stock to be rising on Wednesday. Nevertheless, investors appear to be speculating that there will be greater demand for the stock because of its split.

Now what

While it's possible that demand for Tesla stock will be higher in the near term because of a split, underlying fundamentals will ultimately matter in the long run when determining a stock's value. Investors, therefore, should refrain from making investment decisions based simply on a stock split.

Tesla's stock will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on Aug. 31.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.