Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is considering a stock split that could make the world’s second largest smartphone maker more accessible and transparent, but no decision has been made yet, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing a company executive.
The comments by the Korean giant’s investor relations executive at an event in country’s capital Seoul were later confirmed by a company spokesman, the paper reported.
Samsung has already announced a $2 billion share buyback and the sale of assets it doesn’t consider core to its business any more. The company has seen rivals, notably Xiaomi Inc. in China and Micromax Informatics Ltd. in India, eat into its market share while Apple Inc.'s iPhone 6 phones have exacerbated its woes at the top end of the price spectrum.
Earlier this month, the company reported its profit fell for the first time since 2011, sliding about a third in 2014 from the previous year. Despite this, the company’s stock on Monday cost 1,350,000 Korean won for one share ($1,250). In comparison, Apple Inc.’s shares traded as high as $119 after a seven-to-one share split in June, according to the paper.
The Korean company’s shares were trading more than 2 percent higher at 1,372,000 won on Korea Exchange on Tuesday on the news of a possible share split.
A share split could be another step Samsung might be taking under Vice Chairman Lee Jae-Yong, seen to be driving the ongoing changes at the conglomerate. Samsung, with a weightage five times larger than the next biggest company on the benchmark Kospi composite index, is South Korea’s largest business group.
It is widely seen to be undergoing a change at the top, following Lee Jae-Yong’s father Chairman Lee Kun-Hee’s hospitalization in May after a heart attack.