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As far as I understand it, if a company does a reverse stock split you get less shares but they are worth more so your total holdings don't change. Is this correct?

The reason I ask is I purchased 150 shares of a stock in 2020 for $11 a share. By 2024 the stock had gone down to $4 a share so my holdings were worth $600. The company did a reverse split of 10-1 and now I find my 15 shares are worth $60. So my total holding changed quite a bit. If I'd known this would happen I would have dumped it pre-split. Why aren't my shares worth more?

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    What stock? Are you sure you're looking at the right price?
    – littleadv
    Commented May 1 at 16:53
  • When did the reverse split happen? Are you sure the didn't also replace your existing shares with a new class? If you say which stock it is, people might be able to look at it more deeply.
    – keshlam
    Commented May 1 at 17:01
  • The stock ticker is ACB and it split on February 20th. I looked at my holdings this past week so say April 24th.
    – Drambler
    Commented May 1 at 19:55
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    Your confusion lies in what you think price was. Shares dropped to about 40 cents in 2024. Therefore, 150 shares was then worth $60. They did a 1:10 reverse split which increased share price 10 fold and your number of shares decreased 10 fold. That result is 15 shares x $4 equaling $60. Splits don't change the value of your holdings. Commented May 2 at 18:19
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    Nit: unless your holding is not a multiple of the reverse ratio. Say you hold 25 shares currently worth $1 each and they do 10:1; you get 2 new shares each worth $10 and $5 cash (probably minus a few cents admin/overhead) 'in lieu of' the fractional share implied by the ratio. This is the same value (for now; the stock may go back up, or further down, in future) but not the same fraction of equity as before. Commented May 5 at 1:58

2 Answers 2

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A few possibilities -

  • The stock price has gone down another 90% after the 10:1 reverse split, and your actual total value did in fact go down to $60
  • Your broker (or wherever you view your holdings) has not yet accounted for the change in share price after the split

Yes, after a split, your total holding amount would be the same, but the stock price can (and often does) change after the split, so you may not see that equality directly in your portfolio.

--EDIT--

The stock ticker is ACB and it split on February 20th. I looked at my holdings this past week so say April 24th

Looking at the price history for ACB, which is adjusted for splits, the price at the time of the split was actually $0.40, (which makes sense because reverse splits typically happen when stocks go below $1 to avoid getting delisted), and was adjusted to $4 after the 1:10 split, so your total value at that time was only $60. If you look at the price history you'll see that the adjusted price in 2020 in on the order of $110, which would correspond to your pre-split price of $11.

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  • Where I got confused is that the history didn't show 40 cents when I looked at that date. Thanks for the answer!
    – Drambler
    Commented May 1 at 20:18
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    Yes price =histories are almost always adjusted for splits so you don't see a huge drop or jump when a split occurs.
    – D Stanley
    Commented May 1 at 20:28
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Generally speaking, the market does not look favorable on reverse stock splits and is an indication of the company's prognosis is bad. Expect continued declines without a turn around plan.

The same holds true for cuts in dividends.

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