My bellyaching was premature.

Just a few days ago, I wondered why growth stocks aren't declaring stock splits anymore. Instead of going for zero-sum 3-for-1, 2-for-1, or even 3-for-2 maneuvers, many Wall Street darlings seemed perfectly complacent to see their share prices climb well into the triple digits.

"Share prices are the new badges," I wrote at the time. The same peer-pressure forces that drove companies to split during the 1990s now prop up share prices.

Well, that may change. Two of the market's recession-bucking growth stocks declared stock splits late last week:

  • Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU), China's leading search engine, will execute what is essentially a 10-for-1 split on its stateside trading shares.
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR) is opting for a 3-for-1 exchange to get the Keurig specialist's shares back into $20s.

Both companies declared their splitting intentions after delivering healthy growth in their latest quarters -- though Green Mountain's shares took a hit on its weak outlook for the current quarter.

Will this one-two punch open the floodgates of other growth darlings that have thus far resisted the urge to split? Even if splits are little more than psychological tactics, they may be about to pick up some serious steam.

Let's handicap the odds on other companies following suit.




Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX)


Declared a 2-for-1 split the last time its stock was nearly this high, six years ago. A 3-for-1 makes sense here.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)


Has historically split as it approaches triple digits, but it seems to be reinventing its strategy now that the price is roughly three times higher than its typical split point.

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)


When you price your IPO at $85, you're clearly not pricing for illusion. However, watching the higher-priced Baidu split may give it a reason to reconsider. (Nasdaq: PCLN)


The travel portal has clearly overcome its 2003 1-for-6 reverse split. A 6-for-1 forward split would be poetic, and still price the stock at a premium to its rivals.

Traditional stock splits haven't been very popular in recent years. But that sentiment should change now that some of the cool kids are doing it.

What do you think of stock splits? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.