Stock Splits and Stock Dividends: Why, Who, and When

  • Published: Apr 30, 2012
  • Pages: 913-932
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1987.tb03919.x


This study investigates empirically why firms split their stock or distribute stock dividends and why the market reacts favorably to these distributions. The findings suggest that stock splits are mainly aimed at restoring stock prices to a “normal range.” Some support can also be found for the oft‐mentioned signalling motive of stock splits. Stock dividends are altogether different from stock splits, and they appear to be a decreasing phenomenon. The clue to stock dividend distributions may lie in their perceived substitution for relatively low cash dividends.

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