Google shareholders are about to get twice as many shares due to a change that gives Larry and Sergey more control over the company. The 2-for-1 stock split is happening on April 2nd. Shareholders as of March 27th will get two shares for every one they owned. One set of shares is called Class A and it will trade under the ticker symbol “GOOGL.”
The Class C stock will be listed under the “GOOG” ticker. Google will have twice as many shares outstanding. The GAAP earnings per share Google will report for the first quarter will be half of what the company otherwise reports because net earnings are divided into twice as many shares. Larry Page and Sergey Brin own Class B shares, which are not publicly traded.
The two of them will get a Class C share for every stock they own. Each Class A share will be counted as one vote and a Class C share does not have voting control. The change boosts Page and Brin’s ability to control the company by stopping the dilution of their Class B shares. The company will issue mainly non-voting Class shares moving forward. This will give Google more flexibility for M&A deals and offering stock incentives. It was hard to do large deals before using stock because it changes the voting rights.