Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) officially approved the long talked-about stock split in January, and it has gone into effect today. The third class of Google shares began trading on the NASDAQ today under the new ticker symbol. This means that Google now has Class A, Class B and Class C shares.
Details on Google’s stock split
Shareholders of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s original Class A stock (was GOOG)received one share of Class C stock for every Class A share they owned. As of today, the Class A shares are trading under the new ticker symbol GOOGL. The Class C shares will now be trading under the original GOOG symbol.
The third class—Class B—is a restricted class made up of super-voting shares held by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) insiders. Those shares bring ten votes per share. The Wall Street Journal notes that as of last April’s proxy filing, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin controlled 56% of their company under this setup.
What Google’s new class is all about
With the creation of the new class, however, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) gets to issue shares which do not have any voting rights at all. The search giant has gradually been issuing more Class A shares to pay for acquisitions and stock units for its employees. Because the new stock class has no voting rights, Page and Brin are able to continue controlling the company they founded. Going forward, all stock units issued to employees and for acquisitions will be the non-voting Class C shares, which still stop the dilution Page and Brin have been seeing.
Both of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s common shares will be included in the major indices. The S&P and the Dow Jones said both Class A and Class C would be in the S&P 500 and the S&P 100. NASDAQ said the Class C shares would be added to all of the NASDAQ OMX Indexes which already contained Class A shares.
Google estimates updated
In a research note dated April 2, 2014, Raymond James analysts Aaron Kessler and Ben Cohen bumped up their price target from $655 to $660 a share and reiterated their Overweight rating on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL). The new price target reflects both the stock split and the pending sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo Group Limited (ADR) (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) (HKG:0992).
The analysts now treat Motorola as discontinued operations. As a result, their new revenue estimates decline, although their operating income estimates increase because Motorola was operating at a loss.
They now estimate non-GAAP earnings per share for 2014 of $27.45 a share and $31.36 a share for 2015.