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Nike unveils stock split, boosts dividend

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Nike, which joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2013, has been benefiting from cultural trends that favor its products, including the rise of athletically styled footwear and clothes among consumers who aren’t necessarily planning a workout.

The world’s top sneaker seller also holds the lead in the sports apparel sector where, in addition to competition from Germany-based rival Adidas AG, younger rivals such as Under Armour Inc. and Skechers USA Inc. have been moving in on its turf.

The stock split applies to Nike’s Class A and Class B shares, and the company expects its shares to begin trading at the split-adjusted price on Dec. 24.

Nike’s shares have gained 31% so far this year to close Thursday at $125.78. While splits don’t change a company’s value, they tend to generate renewed interest in the stock as the lower price makes it more attractive to a larger group of investors, driving up the value. The shares gained 3.5% after hours.

The dividend increase to 32 cents a share on a pre-split basis marks the 14th consecutive year Nike has raised its payout. The yield increases to 1%.

The stock buyback, meanwhile, is good over four years and applies to the B shares. It comes as Nike expects to complete its current $8 billion plan by the end of May.

Source: Bloomberg