Everyone enjoys buying things on Amazon; now, everyone can buy Amazon.
The online retailer executed a 20-for-1 stock split on Friday, bringing the per-share price down from $2,440 at the end of last week to an opening bell price of $125 on Monday, the first day of trading on an adjusted basis. Previously existing shareholders received an extra 19 shares (so, 20 total) for each one they owned prior to the split.
In March, Amazon’s board of directors approved the split and a new $10 billion buyback plan, upped from a prior plan for $5 billion. “This split would give our employees more flexibility in how they manage their equity in Amazon and make the share price more accessible for people looking to invest in the company,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement at the time.
The split places Amazon’s per-share stock priced between Disney ($108) and Netflix ($197). Shareholders voted in favor of the split on May 25.
Stock splits are a common — and often welcome — maneuver to immediately increase the pool of potential investors. The more potential buyers of a stock, the more confidence its current owners can feel in the balance of supply/demand. It’s micro-investing, without the inferiority complex or the barrier to entry.
Another major bit of Amazon corporate news went down on Friday: Dave Clark, the company’s CEO of worldwide consumer business, announced his resignation. Well, the company announced it in a regulatory filing as well as a blog post. Clark’s resignation is effective July 1.
“I’ve had an incredible time at Amazon but it’s time for me to build again,” Clark wrote in a statement he posted to Twitter. “It’s what drives me. To all I’ve had the honor of working with: thank you for making it so much fun to come to work every day for 23 years to invent cool, amazing things for customers.”
Clark then posted the email he sent to his team. See all that below.
I've had an incredible time at Amazon but it’s time for me to build again. It's what drives me. To all I've had the honor of working with: thank you for making it so much fun to come to work every day for 23 years to invent cool, amazing things for customers.
Email to team below pic.twitter.com/c8Ao46VvaJ
— Dave Clark (@davehclark) June 3, 2022
So far, the new stock split seems to be working. As of this publishing, AMZN shares are up about 2 percent. The company has a $1.27 trillion market cap.
There’s still plenty of room for improvement: Shares of Amazon have a 52-week high of $3,773.08, or the equivalent of $188.65 in today’s post-split dollars. That’s about a 34 percent premium from where the stock sits currently.
And what a wild 52 weeks it’s been. Founder Jeff Bezos stepped down as president and CEO last July, when Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy took the reins.
Monday’s split was the fourth in Amazon history and the first since 1999. Founded in 1994 as a bookseller, Amazon went public in May 1997 with a per-share price of $18. Amazon Prime Video launched in 2006 as an on-demand video platform and evolved into a major SVOD player. Amazon is also home to the FAST service Freevee, fka IMDb TV.