U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Reverse Stock Splits

A reverse stock split reduces the number of shares and increases the share price proportionately. For example, if you own 10,000 shares of a company and it declares a one for ten reverse split, you will own a total of 1,000 shares after the split. A reverse stock split has no effect on the value of what shareholders own. Companies often split their stock when they believe the price of their stock is too low to attract investors to buy their stock. Some reverse stock splits cause small shareholders to be "cashed out" so that they no longer own the company’s shares.

A company’s board of directors may declare a reverse stock split without shareholder approval. Although the SEC has authority over a broad range of corporate activity, state corporate law and a company’s articles of incorporation and by-laws govern reverse stock splits.

If a company is required to file reports with the SEC, it may notify its shareholders of a reverse stock split on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K.


We have provided this information as a service to investors.  It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy.  If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law or rule, please consult with an attorney who specializes in securities law.