Microsoft common stock has been split nine times since the company's initial public offering in 1986, according to the company's website. As of 2015, the most recent of these splits occurred in February 2003 when each share was split in half, drawing down the stock's price from $48.30 to $24.96.Continue Reading
Previous stock splits include March 1999, when shares were split two for one to decrease the share price from $178.13 to $92.38, and February 1998, when shares were split in half with their values falling from $155.13 to $81.63, explains Microsoft. Prior to that, shares were split in half in December 1996, when trading prices fell from $152.875 to $81.75, and in half in May 1994 to cut prices from $97.75 to $50.63. Two splits with a ratio of three-to-two occurred in June 1992, cutting prices from $112.50 to $75.75, and June 1991, cutting prices from $100.75 to $68.00. Before that, splits were initiated in April 1990 with a two-for-one from $120.75 to $60.75, and in September 1987, with a two-for-one from $114.50 to $53.50.
The company's stated goal in initiating these splits was to make its stock more accessible to different types of investors without affecting the value of existing investors' holdings. The aggregate effect of these splits has been to increase the number of shares held by an original investor from one to 288, notes Microsoft.Learn more about Investing