(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co’s (KO.N) board of directors recommended a two-for-one stock split on Wednesday, the first split in 16 years.
The split reflects the board’s confidence in the long-term growth and financial performance of the company, according to Chief Executive Muhtar Kent.
“A stock split reflects our desire to share value with an ever-growing number of people and organizations around the world,” Kent said in a statement.
The split, which would double the number of outstanding shares to 11.2 billion, is subject to approval by shareholders. They will vote on it at a special meeting planned for July 10.
If approved, the new shares would be distributed on or around August 10, Coke said.
This would be the 11th split in the stock’s 92-year history. One share of stock purchased for $40 in 1919 would be worth about $9.8 million today, with all dividends reinvested annually, the company said.
In early New York Stock Exchange trading, Coca-Cola shares rose 0.5 percent to $74.49.
Reporting By Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick