On June 9, Apple (AAPL 0.49%) shares will begin trading on the Nasdaq at a split price of 7-to-1. While the traders and speculators share their predictions on the effect the split will have on the direction of the stock, here's a simpler look at the split for long-term investors who simply don't care about day-to-day and month-to-month speculation.
There are several key dates investors need to understand regarding Apple's upcoming stock split:
- Monday, June 2: This is the record date, or the date that determines which investors will receive additional shares due to the split.
- Friday, June 6: This is the split date. Shareholders who purchased shares before the record date will receive their split shares after market close on this day.
- Monday, June 9: This is the ex date, or the day shares will begin trading at the new split-adjusted price on the Nasdaq.
For those unfamiliar with stock splits, this probably prompts a question: What happens to investors who buy shares on or after the record date and before the ex date? These investors' shares will still split following the stock split once your brokerage account is credited with the additional shares resulting from the split, just not immediately on the split date. In other words, the split will simply take a little longer.
The split is simple. For every one share investors own, they will now have seven. Each of these shares will be equal to one-seventh of the pre-split share price. For instance, if the pre-split Apple share price is $635, post-split shares will initially trade at $90.7.
A useful side note: the seven-for-one split gives Apple investors an excellent reference point. Since Apple stock's all-time high was a few dollars above $700, investors should keep in mind that basically anything above $100 would mark new highs for the stock.
Will the split have any effect on the intrinsic value of the underlying business? Not at all. Asserting a share split will boost the value of a company is like saying there is more calories in a pizza once it's sliced.
What will the intrinsic value of Apple's underlying business be on a per-share basis? With very conservative assumptions, I estimated Apple's pre-split intrinsic value to be $750 per share. Post-split, that's $107. In other words, I'd think twice before buying Apple shares at a post-split price above $107. While my estimate of Apple's intrinsic value is not meant to pinpoint the exact point at which the company is fairly valued, it at least offers a ballpark reference point. It's worth repeating, though, that the valuation was based on conservative assumptions.
When it's all said and done, the split will ultimately create absolutely no need for any action among investors. Sure, some traders will undoubtedly choose to take some sort of trading action in speculation of short-term swings as a result of the split. But the return long-term investors will see over the next several years will, by no means, be affected by this split.
The only action investors may want to take is to come up with a post-split figure for Apple stock that reflects their per-share intrinsic value estimate so they have some sort of reference point -- and that's it.