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Tesla (TSLA) Stock Split: What You Need to Know

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Written by Timothy Sykes
Updated 5/16/2024 16 min read

A stock split is a strategic move by a company to divide its existing shares into multiple new shares to boost the stock’s liquidity and make it more accessible to a broader range of investors. For a high-flying company like Tesla, whose stock prices have soared, a split could make shares appear more affordable, though the underlying value of the company remains unchanged.

This article will cover the mechanics of stock splits, Tesla’s history with splits, their market impact, and trading strategies you should consider in the future.

I’ll answer the following questions:

  • What is a stock split and how does it work?
  • Why is Tesla opting for a stock split now?
  • What are the short-term and long-term implications of a Tesla stock split?
  • How should investors trade around the Tesla stock split?
  • What are the pros and cons of buying Tesla shares before versus after a split?
  • Can a stock split influence Tesla’s market perception and trading liquidity?
  • What are the common mistakes investors make when trading around a stock split?
  • What potential impacts could a future Tesla stock split have?

Let’s get to the content!

What Is a Stock Split?

A stock split occurs when a company decides to increase the number of its outstanding shares by issuing more shares to current shareholders. This move does not alter the company’s market cap but does make its shares more accessible by lowering the individual share price.

  • Forward Split: Increases the share count by dividing each existing share into multiple shares, reducing the price without changing the overall valuation.
  • Reverse Split: Consolidates multiple shares into one to boost the share price, often used to meet stock exchange listing requirements.

How Stock Splits Work

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  • Board Decision: The company’s board of directors votes to initiate a split.
  • Regulatory Approval: The split must comply with regulatory standards and market rules.
  • Execution: New shares are distributed to investors, typically during a non-trading period to prevent market disruption.

The immediate effect is usually a reduction in the stock price adjusted for the split ratio, but shareholder equity remains unaffected—merely divided among a larger number of shares.

Why Is Tesla (TSLA) Splitting its Shares?

Tesla’s decision to undertake stock splits stems from its desire to democratize stock ownership, making it financially accessible to more investors and potentially stabilizing its share price volatility. Historically, Tesla has leveraged splits to great effect.

Tesla executed a 5-for-1 stock split in August 2020 and subsequently surpassed a market capitalization of $1 trillion in 2021.

Following this, the company conducted a 3-for-1 stock split, providing shareholders with two additional shares for each one held at the market close on August 17, 2022. These new shares were allocated after the market closed on August 24, 2022, and Tesla’s stock commenced trading on a split-adjusted basis the following morning, August 25, 2022.

What the Tesla Stock Split Means for Investors

Short-Term Implications:

  • Increased Accessibility: The lower price per share makes Tesla more accessible to a broader range of investors.
  • Heightened Volatility: Short-term market reactions might include increased trading activity, affecting stock volatility.
  • Speculative Trading Increase: Typically, splits may attract speculative traders looking to capitalize on price movements caused by increased liquidity.

Long-Term Implications:

  • Market Perception: Over the long haul, a stock split can reaffirm confidence in the company’s growth potential, potentially bolstering its market image.
  • Shareholder Base Expansion: A more affordable share price broadens the investor base, which can enhance stock stability.
  • Dividend Adjustments: If applicable, dividends per share would adjust to reflect the new share count, maintaining equivalence in dividend distribution.

In the context of an investment strategy, stock splits like Tesla’s should be viewed as a potential enhancement to marketability and liquidity rather than a direct value creator. My experience has taught me that splits do not alter the fundamental value of the company, but they can influence investor behavior and stock performance. Investors should align their actions with their overall investment goals, using splits as an opportunity to reassess their holdings and possibly capitalize on the increased trading activity without deviating from their long-term investment strategies.

Tesla’s Stock Split History

Tesla’s history with stock splits provides insight into its strategic timing and market reactions. Here’s a quick look at its split history:

DateSplit Ratio
August 20205-for-1
August 20223-for-1

Post-split, Tesla’s stock typically experiences a temporary uplift in market interest, reflecting the buzz around its more attainable share price and the broader market’s reaction to Tesla’s growth narrative.

The Mechanics Behind Tesla’s Stock Splits

Tesla’s stock splits typically follow these structured steps, which are similar to those of other companies:

  1. Board Approval: The process begins with Tesla’s board of directors approving the split, considering the strategic benefits and market conditions.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: Following board approval, Tesla complies with all regulatory requirements, including filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and notifying the stock exchange.
  3. Shareholder Notification: Investors are informed about the split details—such as the split ratio and effective date—through official announcements and shareholder newsletters.
  4. Execution on Stipulated Date: The stock split is executed on the declared effective date, with the adjusted shares distributed to shareholders’ brokerage accounts.

Unlike some automakers who might split to adjust perceptions after downturns, Tesla uses splits proactively during periods of strong market performance to make its stocks even more accessible.

Impact and Analysis of Tesla’s Stock Splits

The immediate market response to Tesla’s stock split announcements generally reflects a positive buzz, driving up investor interest and, consequently, trading volumes. This reaction underscores the market’s view of splits as bullish signals, often leading to a temporary increase in stock prices due to perceived accessibility and renewed investor enthusiasm.

  • Pre-Split Performance: Historically, Tesla’s stock has shown a strong upward trend in anticipation of a split, driven by bullish investor sentiment and broader market trends.
  • Post-Split Adjustment: Following the split, Tesla’s stock typically adjusts to a more accessible price point, which might attract a new cohort of investors and traders.
  • Long-Term Performance Metrics: In the long run, the key metrics to watch include market cap growth, stockholder equity adjustments, and how well the stock’s performance aligns with overall NASDAQ-100 trends.

Analyzing Tesla’s pre and post-split performance provides valuable insights into the effects of such corporate actions. Investors can use this data to gauge potential impacts on their portfolios and adjust their positions accordingly, keeping in mind the broader dynamics of the stock market and associated sectors like technology and electric vehicles.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is no stranger to appealing to the market…

How to Trade the Tesla (TSLA) Stock Split

Trading around a stock split requires precise strategy and timing to maximize potential benefits. Here are some effective strategies:

  • Timing Your Trades: Aim to buy before the split if you anticipate a run-up, as splits often attract positive attention that could drive up prices temporarily.
  • Position Sizing: Adjust your position to manage risk—consider buying in tranches rather than a lump sum to average out your entry price.
  • Monitoring Stock Trends: Use technical analysis tools available on trading platforms to track momentum and resistance levels.
  • Staying Informed: Keep up with stock market news via reliable sources like Motley Fool or stock market analysis on platforms like YouTube to catch any announcements or market sentiment changes.

A common mistake traders make is treating a stock split as a fundamental enhancement to the stock’s value, which it is not. Overbuying before a split or selling too quickly post-split without assessing the broader market trends and Tesla’s company fundamentals can lead to missed opportunities or unnecessary losses.

In my 20-plus years of trading experience, I’ve seen the importance of understanding the psychological market drivers and the technical setup before making trading decisions.

When trading around events like the Tesla stock split, it’s crucial to stay updated on stocks that are actively traded and show potential for significant movement. This approach not only helps in capitalizing on Tesla’s split-related volatility but also diversifies the trading strategy across different sectors and companies. Keeping an eye on a curated list of stocks to watch can provide timely insights into market trends and trader sentiment, crucial for making informed decisions during such strategic times. For a fresh perspective on the most active and potentially profitable trading opportunities today, check out these stocks to watch.

Should You Buy Before or After Split?

Pros and Cons of Buying Tesla Shares Before or After a Split:

FactorBuying Before SplitBuying After Split
Market SentimentPotentially capitalize on pre-split hype.Avoid the volatility that often accompanies the pre-split hype.
Share PriceBuy at a lower price before it potentially rises post-split.Benefit from any dips as the market stabilizes post-split.
LiquidityIncreased liquidity might inflate prices temporarily.More stable prices could offer safer entry points.

Based on historical trends and current market analysis, buying before a Tesla stock split might offer speculative upside, but it requires careful risk management. The best approach would often depend on the investor’s risk tolerance and the overall market conditions leading up to and following the split.

Would Another Tesla (TSLA) Split Happen in 2024?

Considering Tesla’s past behavior and current market dynamics, another stock split in 2024 is a distinct possibility if the stock continues to perform well and maintain a high market price. Such a decision would hinge on maintaining accessibility and trading liquidity, aligning with Tesla’s growth strategy.

Potential Impacts of a Future Split:

  • Increased Shareholder Base: More investors might buy into the stock if the price per share is reduced.
  • Market Perception: Could enhance Tesla’s image as a forward-thinking company, appealing to a broader investor demographic.
  • Stock Liquidity: Further increase in liquidity, allowing better price discovery and tighter bid-ask spreads.

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla uses stock splits as a strategic tool to enhance liquidity and make shares more accessible.
  • Splits do not change company fundamentals but affect market perception and stock tradability.
  • Trading Tesla stock around splits requires an understanding of market psychology and timing.
  • Future splits may depend on continued company growth and market conditions, offering new opportunities for investors.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When Can You Expect a Tesla Stock Split?

  • Performance Thresholds: If Tesla’s stock price reaches exceptionally high levels making it less accessible.
  • Market Trends: Following significant product launches or financial milestones.
  • Corporate Strategy: As part of broader financial strategy discussions by Tesla’s management.

Is Tesla a Buy Post-Split?

Considering factors like the broader electric vehicle market growth, advancements in technology and artificial intelligence, and Tesla’s aggressive expansion strategies (e.g., new factories in Austin), the company remains a strong buy after a split. This stance is supported by Tesla’s continuous innovation and leadership in the EV space, which promises substantial future returns despite potential short-term volatility.

Can Splits Be a Sign to Sell?

In certain scenarios, a stock split might be a signal to sell, particularly if it reflects overvaluation relative to market fundamentals or if it precedes anticipated negative shifts in company strategy or market conditions. However, with Tesla, splits have traditionally signaled bullish market sentiment and corporate confidence, suggesting that splits might be more of an opportunity to buy rather than sell, depending on your investment horizon and risk appetite.

What Is the Impact of Tesla’s Split on Stock Market Trends?

The split of Tesla’s stock might influence stock market trends by making shares more accessible and possibly more attractive to a wider range of investors. This can increase trading volumes and potentially stabilize the stock price in volatile markets.

How Does a Company Split Affect Stockholders and ETFs?

A company split often results in a short-term increase in stockholder numbers as the lower share price attracts more investors. For ETFs holding the stock, the split can lead to adjustments in portfolio allocations to maintain balanced exposures.

What Regulatory Issues Impact Tesla’s Ability to Split?

Regulation surrounding stock splits includes disclosure policy requirements and market fairness issues. Tesla must navigate these regulations carefully to ensure that all procedural steps are transparent and fair to investors and stakeholders.

How Should Investors Adjust Their Watchlists After a Tesla Split?

Investors should update their watchlists to reflect the new symbol for Tesla’s stock, monitor the adjusted trading volume, and reassess their investment strategies based on the new market dynamics introduced by the split.

What Financial Services Can Help Investors Manage New Tesla Shares?

Financial services such as brokerage help, advisory consultations, and investment management services can assist investors in managing their holdings post-split. These services offer strategies to capitalize on the split by adjusting portfolios to the new stock valuation.

How Does Tesla’s Global Presence Affect Its Stock Value Post-Split?

Tesla’s global presence, reflected in its worldwide sales and operations, might buffer its stock value post-split by diversifying market risks. This global footprint can help maintain a balanced demand across different regions, stabilizing the stock price.

Can Tesla’s Split Influence Other Sectors Like Crude Oil and Insurance?

While a direct impact is unlikely, Tesla’s split might indirectly influence sectors like crude oil by emphasizing the shift to electric vehicles, potentially decreasing oil demand. For insurance, as more people buy Tesla cars, there might be an adjustment in insurance policies offered.

What Are the Long-Term Results Expected From Tesla’s Stock Split?

The long-term results of Tesla’s stock split could include increased market participation, broader shareholder demographics, and potentially more stable stock price performance, providing the company maintains its growth trajectory and innovation edge.

How Does Tesla’s Company Name and Brand Affect AAPL’s Market Strategy?

Both are among the market’s mega-cap leaders, and stock market advisors and employees take up a bigger piece of the pie than most. With such sector leaders, logos, icons, and websites all matter.

What Reasons Might Influence Tesla’s Decision to Split, Impacting Funds and Money Flow?

Tesla might decide to split its stock for several reasons, including making shares more affordable to a wider range of investors, thus potentially increasing the company’s market cap. This could lead to greater money flow into mutual funds and other investment vehicles that hold Tesla shares, diversifying and possibly stabilizing these funds’ portfolios.

How Do Flexibility in Corporate Strategy and Total Assets Influence Tesla’s Ground Operations?

Flexibility in Tesla’s corporate strategy, including its ability to adapt manufacturing and sales approaches in different markets, directly influences the effectiveness of its ground operations. This adaptability, supported by Tesla’s total asset base, allows for optimized distribution and localized strategies that can better meet regional demands and regulatory conditions.

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Timothy Sykes

Tim Sykes is a penny stock trader and teacher who became a self-made millionaire by the age of 22 by trading $12,415 of bar mitzvah money. After becoming disenchanted with the hedge fund world, he established the Tim Sykes Trading Challenge to teach aspiring traders how to follow his trading strategies. He’s been featured in a variety of media outlets including CNN, Larry King, Steve Harvey, Forbes, Men’s Journal, and more. He’s also an active philanthropist and environmental activist, a co-founder of Karmagawa, and has donated millions of dollars to charity. Read More

* Results are not typical and will vary from person to person. Making money trading stocks takes time, dedication, and hard work. There are inherent risks involved with investing in the stock market, including the loss of your investment. Past performance in the market is not indicative of future results. Any investment is at your own risk. See Terms of Service here

The available research on day trading suggests that most active traders lose money. Fees and overtrading are major contributors to these losses.

A 2000 study called “Trading is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors” evaluated 66,465 U.S. households that held stocks from 1991 to 1996. The households that traded most averaged an 11.4% annual return during a period where the overall market gained 17.9%. These lower returns were attributed to overconfidence.

A 2014 paper (revised 2019) titled “Learning Fast or Slow?” analyzed the complete transaction history of the Taiwan Stock Exchange between 1992 and 2006. It looked at the ongoing performance of day traders in this sample, and found that 97% of day traders can expect to lose money from trading, and more than 90% of all day trading volume can be traced to investors who predictably lose money. Additionally, it tied the behavior of gamblers and drivers who get more speeding tickets to overtrading, and cited studies showing that legalized gambling has an inverse effect on trading volume.

A 2019 research study (revised 2020) called “Day Trading for a Living?” observed 19,646 Brazilian futures contract traders who started day trading from 2013 to 2015, and recorded two years of their trading activity. The study authors found that 97% of traders with more than 300 days actively trading lost money, and only 1.1% earned more than the Brazilian minimum wage ($16 USD per day). They hypothesized that the greater returns shown in previous studies did not differentiate between frequent day traders and those who traded rarely, and that more frequent trading activity decreases the chance of profitability.

These studies show the wide variance of the available data on day trading profitability. One thing that seems clear from the research is that most day traders lose money .

Millionaire Media 66 W Flagler St. Ste. 900 Miami, FL 33130 United States (888) 878-3621 This is for information purposes only as Millionaire Media LLC nor Timothy Sykes is registered as a securities broker-dealer or an investment adviser. No information herein is intended as securities brokerage, investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to sell or buy, or as an endorsement, recommendation or sponsorship of any company, security or fund. Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes cannot and does not assess, verify or guarantee the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any information, the suitability or profitability of any particular investment, or the potential value of any investment or informational source. The reader bears responsibility for his/her own investment research and decisions, should seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before making any investment, and investigate and fully understand any and all risks before investing. Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes in no way warrants the solvency, financial condition, or investment advisability of any of the securities mentioned in communications or websites. In addition, Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this information. This information is not intended to be used as the sole basis of any investment decision, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the investment needs of any particular investor. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.

Citations for Disclaimer

Barber, Brad M. and Odean, Terrance, Trading is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors. Available at SSRN: “Day Trading for a Living?”

Barber, Brad M. and Lee, Yi-Tsung and Liu, Yu-Jane and Odean, Terrance and Zhang, Ke, Learning Fast or Slow? (May 28, 2019). Forthcoming: Review of Asset Pricing Studies, Available at SSRN: “https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535636”

Chague, Fernando and De-Losso, Rodrigo and Giovannetti, Bruno, Day Trading for a Living? (June 11, 2020). Available at SSRN: “https://ssrn.com/abstract=3423101”