Apple could be set to split its stock at Wednesday’s annual shareholder meeting, according to Seabreeze Partners Management Inc. President and TheStreet.com contributor Douglas Kass. BGR reports that Apple’s shares rose 1.4% after Kass tweeted the rumor.
High above the Alps my Gnome is hearing a rumor that Apple will announce a stock split at tomorrow’s shareholder meeting.$AAPL
— Douglas Kass (@DougKass) February 26, 2013
That share increase follows a relatively glum period in Apple’s short-term trading history, with shares in AAPL dropping more than 36% since September. Following Kass’ announcement (which he posits would require a shareholder vote), Apple stock rose by $8 and is currently trading at $449.80, according to CNN.
If true, this decision represents an about-face in the company’s plans. “A stock split isn’t so clear to be honest,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors at last year’s annual shareholder meeting. “There might be a short term pop, but for a lot [of companies] it does nothing.” A stock split could serve to make Apple a more attractive investment for traders who are risk-averse, and it would not affect the technology giant’s market capitalization. Despite the stock slump, Apple remains the world’s most valuable company by this metric. It would also not be the first time this has happened: Apple stock has been split in 1987, 200, and 2005.
Douglas Kass has been pessimistic about the viability of Apple stock in the past. Last month, he made waves when he suggested that the company’s stock is “dead money.” Speaking to CNBC, Kass noted that Apple is not in the same climate that it was when its string of consumer successes (starting with the iPod) took place. “The company faces a much more difficult business landscape, the competition is escalating and that’s going to challenge profitability over the next couple of years.”