“We expect that the stock split should increase the accessibility of shares to a broader array of potential investors, and note that the split should allow for potential inclusion of Amazon shares in the Dow Jones Industrial Average,” said Wells Fargo analyst Brian Fitzgerald.
Shares of the e-commerce giant rose 5% in pre-market trading on Thursday on the heels of a 20-for-1 stock split announcement. The company also revealed a massive $10 billion stock buyback plan.
Amazon’s stock split is the fourth one in its history. The last split came in September 1999.
If shareholders approve of the split, it will begin trading on the new basis on June 6.
Even as Amazon’s stock will get cheaper on paper after the split, Dow inclusion is far from guaranteed. The process is notoriously arbitrary.
A committee made up of S&P Dow Jones Indices representatives and Wall Street Journal editors are tasked with deciding which companies enter and exit the Dow. The last two companies to gain inclusion into the Dow were Salesforce and Honeywell in 2020.
Should Amazon be selected, the company would join Apple, IBM and the aforementioned Salesforce as the main tech names in the index.
Wells Fargo’s Fitzgerald isn’t pinning his call on Amazon’s stock on Dow inclusion, however.
“We view the increased share repurchase authorization announced [Wednesday] as further evidence of a sharper focus on profitability. Assuming a steadier investment cadence in the retail business, we expect investor focus to shift to Amazon’s faster-growth, higher-margin opportunities in advertising and at AWS,” Fitzgerald said.
The analyst has an Overweight rating on Amazon (Buy equivalent) with a $4,250 price target.