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Goldman Sachs: Stock splits are near-term positive for shares

Published 10/06/2024, 07:58 pm
© Reuters

Analysts at Goldman Sachs noted on Friday that stock splits are a near-term positive for shares, highlighting the recent example of Nvidia's (NASDAQ:NVDA) 10-for-1 split announcement.

Based on 45 stock splits within the Russell 1000 since 2019, stock prices typically climbed 4% in the week following the announcement “but prices did not evidence a clear reaction in subsequent weeks or around the effective date,” Goldman said in the note.

In other words, the positive impact of stock splits on stock prices is usually short-lived. In fact, the price increase tends to revert by the actual inclusion date when index-tracking funds purchase the addition, Goldman said.

According to the Wall Street firm, one reason for the immediate bullish reaction is the perception of increased liquidity. Stock splits theoretically push prices towards an optimal balance, improving accessibility for smaller investors and potentially improving liquidity.

Despite the initial spike, Goldman cautions that liquidity does not always show a significant change once the split comes into effect.

Analysts also pointed out the role of retail investors in stock splits.

"The increased activity of retail investors in recent years also incentivizes corporates to increase the accessibility of their shares," analysts added.

However, the impact on retail trading activity post-split has been modest, with some notable exceptions. For instance, Nvidia's previous 2021 stock split led to a significant increase in the average share of retail trading, from 17% to 23%, while Amazon’s (AMZN) 2022 split boosted the share from 14% to 21%.

“Instances in which retail trading activity increased after the stock split also experienced stronger post-announcement returns,” Goldman continued.

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