Apple Computer Inc.'s board authorized a two-for-one stock split that will increase its authorized share count to 1.8 billion from 900 million...

Share story

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple Computer Inc.’s board authorized a two-for-one stock split that will increase its authorized share count to 1.8 billion from 900 million.


The Cupertino-based computer maker said each share held on Feb. 18 will get an additional share. The company plans to start trading on a split-adjusted basis at the end of February.

The company had 419.1 million in average weighted shares outstanding for the first quarter ended Dec. 25.

Last month, Apple reported its first-quarter earnings grew to 70 cents per share from 17 cents a share in the prior year, helped by brisk sales of its iPod digital music player. It sold more than 4.5 million iPods during the quarter. The company also launched lower-priced versions of its Mac computer and iPod products.

After the news of the split, shares of Apple rose $2.05, or 2.6 percent, to $80.41 Friday morning on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The stock reached a 52-week high of $81.99 on Wednesday, the day Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. said it had held talks with Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs about adding satellite-radio service to iPods.

On Thursday, Sirius’ competitor, XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., said it had a similar talk with Jobs.

Executives at both Sirius and XM said Apple doesn’t see a need to add the radio service at this time.