It's difficult to feel any real sympathy for a company with a market cap still in excess of $1 trillion, but it hasn't been the greatest year so far for Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).
Prior to its decision to split, the EV maker's stock had been down over 15% this year-to-date, with supply chain issues running roughshod over its production lines.
The stock split ratio and dates have not been released yet. Nothing is certain until shareholders vote at the upcoming shareholder meeting. Last year's meeting took place in October, so we are probably a few more months away from a final decision.
Tesla's shares popped by over 8% last month following the news that the company is looking to perform a stock split. This would see it become the latest in a flurry of Big Tech firms enacting splits, with both Amazon and Google doing the same in February and March respectively.
The announcement came via Twitter -- no surprise there from an Elon Musk-led company -- and through an SEC filing revealing that the company will be seeking shareholder approval to authorize additional shares to be made available to facilitate the split.
The timing of this decision is certainly interesting. The rather hasty announcement -- we still don't even know the split ratio or the date of the annual shareholder's meeting -- could have been intended to offset news of a factory shutdown in Shanghai amid renewed COVID fears.
Tesla is also facing significant competition in the EV industry from startups and legacy automakers alike, with its first-mover advantage beginning to fade rapidly. Tesla's only previous stock split occurred in August 2020, where a 5-to-1 split saw the company's stock skyrocket by 78% between the announcement and the actual split. Despite an almost immediate 33% drop afterward, this still marked significant short-term growth.
As supply chain issues, a hotly contested industry, and an uncertain and volatile market all conspire to wreak havoc on Tesla's stock, this proposed move could be its saving grace as we enter into the second quarter of 2022.
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