Norfolk Southern Corporation has split its stock twice since its inception in 1982, notes the company's official website. The first split occurred on March 6, 1987, and the second on September 5, 1997. In both cases, stocks split into three.
The 1997 stock split increased the company's number of outstanding shares to 396 million and reflected an ongoing strong performance that had led to an appreciation in Norfolk Southern's stock price, according to PR Newswire. Norfolk Southern's intention was to make the stock more affordable to prospective investors. Because stocks normally sell in standard board lots of 100 units, a high share price can discourage interest from individuals with small amounts of investable funds, explains Investopedia. Stock splits help to reduce the value of individual shares without affecting the worth of existing investors' holdings.