1

After a long period of relative malaise, the Games Workshop miniature wargaming company seems to have attained enormous heights of financial success starting around 2017. After spending a while growing in the £3,000 range, they have recently crossed the £9,000 threshold.

(Screen capture of Games Workshop Group PLC's stock price over a period of five years, starting around £500, growing to around £3,000 after 2017 and rising above £9,000 in summer of 2020)

I don't follow financial news that much, so maybe it's just my limited perspective, but this is by far the highest stock price per share I have ever seen, for any company in any sector.

Given the business they're in and the number of fans their products have, Games Workshop seems to me - as a layman - like it would attract a fair number of 'sympathy investors' (i.e., people who don't otherwise own a stock portfolio going "Well, they're my favourite company, I think I'll buy a share", with little intent to trade beyond that). But their absurdly high price per share puts them utterly out of the reach of any such casual investors.

Is there a good reason to refrain from splitting at such a high stock price? Is the 'casual investor' effect I described above perhaps much smaller than I expect (small enough to be negligible)?

1
  • 2
    "... by far the highest stock price per share I have ever seen, for any company in any sector" — Berkshire Hathaway Class A (NYSE: BRK.A) currently has a stock price of 320,000 USD. Lindt & Sprüngli (SWX: LISN) currently has a stock price of 80,800 CHF.
    – Flux
    Aug 13, 2020 at 12:23

2 Answers 2

4

So, someone on another platform just explained the answer to me.

I did not know that British stocks are priced in pence, not pounds, and a single Games Workshop Group share is worth only £ 91, not £ 9,100 - not spectacularly high at all. I no longer see any urgent reason why they would absolutely have to split, thus answering the question.

2
  • 1
    Drubbels, furthermore it's totally commonplace that companies DO NOT split their stock. Simply, some do, some don't. There are reasons on both sides, and it's no big deal. I believe your question implies that you think it is "normal" or "always desirable" to do splits. That's not the case. (For example, just one random point, a split is often seen as a desperation move by a hopeless company - it's by no means a "univerally good thing".)
    – Fattie
    Aug 13, 2020 at 12:58
  • @Fattie Oh, I definitely know that it's not always desirable to split,l and I pointed this out in my answer - I stated that at £91, I am no longer making the assumption that they would have to split. I just believed (though perhaps this isn't correct either?) that it is usually desirable to split when your price per share reaches such heights as £9,100 (which, remember, I mistakenly believed was the value).
    – Drubbels
    Aug 13, 2020 at 22:24
4

Once upon a time, the Average Joe was responsible for the majority of share traded. Back then, many companies wanted to keep share price lower so that Mom and Pop investors could afford more than odd lots. Those days are gone as institutional trading accounts are now responsible for the majority of shares traded.

While reducing share price, a stock split increases the number of shares in circulation and that tends to increase volatility due to traders.

And given that many brokers now offer the ability to buy fractional shares, the small investor can still participate.

Stock splits cost a company a lot of money to administer. Many companies are loathe to waste money just to achieve an artificially lower share price, with no real gain for the company.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .