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What are the journal entries for a stock split?

Author:
Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of a Stock Split

A stock split usually increases the number of shares of a corporation’s common stock with the intention of reducing the market price of each share of stock.

Example of a Stock Split

Assume that a corporation’s common stock has risen to $150 per share and there are 100,000 shares issued and outstanding. The board of directors would like the shares of common stock to be trading near $50. To achieve this, the board approved a 3-for-1 stock split. After the stock split there are 300,000 shares issued and outstanding. If an individual stockholder owned 10,000 shares or 10% of the 100,000 shares before the stock split, the stockholder will own 30,000 shares or 10% of the 300,000 shares after the stock split.

Journal Entries for a Stock Split

The only journal entry needed for a stock split is a memo entry to note that the number of shares has changed and that the par value per share has changed (if the stock has a par value). However, a typical journal entry (one with a debit and a credit) is not needed since the total dollar amounts for the par value and other components of paid-in capital and stockholders’ equity are not changed with a stock split.

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About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com.

Learn More About Harold

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