The long-awaited and much-clamored-for Google stock split has arrived. The split, which will see one share of GOOG stock divided into two shares, is a little more complicated than a simple straight-forward split. Instead of two shares of GOOG at half the value of the pre-split stock, investors will now see two separate stock tickers for Google: GOOG and GOOGL. Class A shares trade under GOOGL and retain voting rights, while the new Class C shares will take over the classic GOOG ticker and lose all voting rights.
The move, according to MarketWatch, is meant to both make Google stock more accessible and will also help Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page retain control over their voting shares and thus the company, as going forward Google is only likely to issue non-voting Class C shares.
Both Brin and Page hold non-trading Class B shares in Google, and they too will receive a Class C share to go along with each Class B share they hold. This will help to maintain the current voting balance of power within Google.
As of closing yesterday, shares of GOOG were trading at $1133.96. After this morning's split, GOOG is now half the value, and is up more than 2% in early trading. GOOGL too is up, and we'd expect the two stocks to trade fairly closely over time — the voting rights of the Class A shares are really only useful if you hold a lot of shares.