Chicago Sun-Times - - BUSINESS -

SAN RA­MON, Calif. — Tesla will split its stock for the first time in its his­tory so more in­vestors can af­ford to buy a stake in the elec­tric car pioneer fol­low­ing a me­te­oric rise in its mar­ket value.

The five-for-one stock split an­nounced Tues­day won’t change how much Tesla’s busi­ness is worth but will au­to­mat­i­cally re­duce the price of its shares by 80% when it’s com­pleted on Aug. 31.

The sharp drop in price per shares cre­ates a wider uni­verse of po­ten­tial in­vestors and also of­ten has the psy­cho­log­i­cal ef­fect of mak­ing it seem as if a stock is on sale. Ap­ple’s stock price has surged by 14% since the iPhone maker dis­closed a four­for-one split less than two weeks ago.

Tesla’s shares al­ready have tripled so far this year to give the au­tomaker a mar­ket value of $256 bil­lion — nearly three times more than the com­bined value of long-es­tab­lished ri­vals Ford Mo­tor, Gen­eral Mo­tors and Fiat Chrysler.

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