Google plans stock split to preserve control
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Google Inc. plans to split its stock 2-for-1 to preserve its leadership's control over the company and maintain its long-term focus.
The online search leader said Thursday that it is issuing a new class of stock to shareholders, but the new shares won't have any voting power. All current stockholders will get shares in the new Class C stock.
Google says the split is something investors have been asking for. In addition, employees given Google stock in the future will get the non-voting share, allowing voting power to remain with existing shareholders. The same will hold true for stocks-based acquisitions that Google makes.
Investors will vote on the proposal in June. It's expected to pass because Google's senior leaders have most of the voting power.
“It's important to bear in mind that this proposal will only have an effect on governance over the very long term,” CEO Larry Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin wrote in a letter. “It's just that since we know what we want to do, there's no reason to delay the decision.”
Google also said it earned US$2.89 billion, or $8.75 per share, in the first quarter. That's up from $1.8 billion, or $5.51 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, Google says it earned $10.08 per share. That's higher than the $9.66 expected by analysts polled by FactSet.
Total revenue was $10.65 billion, up 24 percent.
After subtracting ad commissions, Google's revenue totaled $8.14 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $8.09 billion on this basis.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Google's stock climbed $1.66 to $652.67 in after-hours trading. The stock had closed up $15.05, or 2.4 percent, to $651.01.