by Christopher Freeburn | June 22, 2012 11:17 am
At its annual meeting in Mountain View, California, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) shareholders voted to approve the company’s first stock split as a publicly traded firm.
The split was supported by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as well as Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman, the Associated Press noted.
A lawsuit that seeks to block the plan was recently filed in a Delaware state court, accusing the company of breaching its fiduciary responsibility to shareholders by advancing the stock split plan, which benefits Page and Brin, the company’s largest voting shareholders, by preventing the issuance of new shares from diluting their voting majority.
In order to protect that majority, Page and Brin suggested issuing a new class of non-voting stock to be given to employees as compensation and for use in future financial transactions.
One non-voting Class C share will be issued for every voting Class A share.
Google’s shares have declined about 4% since last April when Page took the company’s reins as CEO, bumping Schmidt to executive chairman.
By comparison, shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rose 18% and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares rocketed up 68% during the same time.
Though shareholders voted to approve his plan, Larry Page did not attend the annual meeting. The company said its CEO had lost his voice due to an unspecified medical problem. He is also expected to miss a second-quarter results conference call and press event for Android devices in the coming weeks.
Google shares rose fractionally in early Friday morning trading.
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